Veteran center Kosta Koufos is hoping to return to the NBA, and the Cavaliers are a possible destination, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Sources tell Fedor that several teams have reached out to Koufos’ agent.
The 31-year-old played 11 NBA seasons before signing with CSKA Moscow in July of 2019. The deal included a team option for a second season that the Russian club didn’t exercise. Koufos was the highest-paid American player in Europe, but he didn’t see much playing time before COVID-19 interrupted the season. He averaged just 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per night.
Koufos has been working out in his home town of Canton, Ohio, and is reportedly interested in joining the nearby Cavs. Cleveland might need to find inexpensive front court depth, especially if free agent Tristan Thompson opts to sign with a contender. The team expects Andre Drummond to pick up his $28.7MM option for next season, but he may wind up being traded. Ante Zizic signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv after spending the last three seasons with Cleveland, and Fedor notes that Jordan Bell, who signed with the Cavs in June, is viewed as a small-ball center but not a traditional big man.
Fedor attended one of Koufos’ recent workouts and notes that he’s still in top shape and seems to have improved his perimeter shooting. Koufos also showed that he can run the floor, handle the ball and finish with either hand around the basket.
Koufos was a first-round pick by the Jazz in 2008 and spent a season and a half in Utah before being traded to the Timberwolves. He also played for the Nuggets, Grizzlies and Kings, but got into just 42 games for Sacramento in 2018/19 before leaving for Europe.