Wayne Cooper (born September 16, 1956 in Milan, Georgia) was obtained by the Dallas Mavericks along with forward Allan Bristow from the Utah Jazz in a trade for forward Bill Robinzine on August 20, 1981. He played one season for the Mavs.
Cooper attended the University of New Orleans where was selected Sun Belt Conference Player-Of-The-Year his senior season as he led the Privateers to the conference championship. He averaged 18.1 points per game in 1977-1978 and led the conference with a 12.7 rebounds per game average.
During Coop's four years at New Orleans, the team won a total of 80 games including a 21-6 record his senior year.
The Golden State Warriors drafted Cooper in the second round of the 1978 NBA draft. He spent two seasons with the Warriors going from a 4.6 ppg average his rookie season (when he was named to the NBA all-rookie second team) to 11.0 ppg his second season and finished the year as Golden State's number two rebounder and shot blocker. Following his second season he was traded, along with a second-round draft choice to Utah for Bernard King.
After a single season with the Jazz, where he reached double figures in scoring 24 times and in rebounding ten times, Coop was traded to the Mavericks for the 1981-1982 campaign.
Cooper posted 9.0 points, 1.4 blocks and 7.2 rebounds per game during his 76-game stint with the Mavs while the team went 28-54. He joined Tom LaGarde and Scott Lloyd in giving the Dallas some much needed front court depth.
After the '81-82 season, the Mavericks traded Wayne Cooper along with three 1985 first-round draft choices to Portland for guard Kelvin Ransey. Following two seasons with the Trail Blazers, Cooper joined the Denver Nuggets where he enjoyed the most productive years of his NBA career.
Spending five seasons in Denver, he finished in the league's top ten shot blockers three of those years. In 1985-1986 he also had the best statistical year of his career averaging 13.1ppg and 7.8 rpg. The Nuggets made the NBA playoffs all five of his seasons there.
Retiring after the 1992 season, Cooper spent two years in Portland's front office before joining the Sacramento Kings in July of 1994 as Director of Basketball Services and Assistant Coach. He spent two seasons in that position and in July 1996 was promoted to Sacramento's Vice President of Basketball Operations, a position he still holds.
Cooper was named to the University of New Orleans Hall of Fame in 1988 and to the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992. He was also selected, in 1995, to the Sun Belt Conference's All-Time Men's Basketball Team which celebrated the first 30 years of the conference.