The Boston Celtics have officially announced their team’s roster for the 2024 NBA Las Vegas Summer League, a major annual showcase for players looking to connect with other teams and secure a spot in training camp or beyond later in the year.

One name in particular could be kept in mind among the 13 players headed to Sin City. Former Iowa Hawkeye Tyler Cook is not only an athletic forward who could give Boston some physicality in Las Vegas. Cook is also a former high school teammate of All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum. The two played together at Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, Missouri, and Cook and Tatum helped lead the team to the state title as seniors in 2016. The duo were reunited by the Celtics, albeit briefly, and Cook has a chance to rejoin his old teammate if he can impress in Las Vegas enough to earn a contract with Boston.

Celtics assistant general manager Austin Ainge spoke about what he hopes Cook will do in the summer league at a press conference Monday afternoon at the team’s training facility in Boston.

Ainge told Celtics Wire that the Celtics targeted Cook because of his unique combination of size and skill. There are a number of players with Cook’s build on the roster, but hopefully he can stand out with his touch.

“He’s physically strong,” Ainge explained. “For a big guy, he handles the ball very well.”

Cook, 26, is 6-foot-1 with a big frame. During his three seasons at Iowa, he averaged 6.7 rebounds per game and was also a solid offensive player.

Shooting is not his strong point, however, and he will likely have to put in a really impressive performance in Las Vegas to secure a spot on a team like the Celtics.

Ainge explained that the summer league is intended for players and teams to try and see the potential for a mutually beneficial relationship, with many of the players earning a second look elsewhere in the NBA or G League.

“With all these guys,” Ainge said, “we’re just trying to figure out how to help the Celtics. How to help a team win? And our coaching staff works hard to put them in those situations.”

Cook is no stranger to these tryouts. He went undrafted in 2019 and had several brief stints in the NBA and G League. He even saw very limited postseason action in 2020 as a reserve player with the Denver Nuggets.

More recently, Cook played professionally in Australia and with Club Joventut Badolona in Spain, so he should be no stranger to the unknowns that come with playing for an NBA team’s summer league roster.

It’s unclear whether Cook will end up with the Celtics. It’s extremely unlikely that he’ll go to Boston, but a strong performance in Las Vegas could help him land a deal with the Maine Celtics, the team’s G League affiliate.

For Cook, another trip to Vegas is a stop on his basketball journey and one that could easily reunite him with Tatum. Summer league begins this Saturday (July 13) for the Celtics.