Veteran center Kosta Koufos is returning stateside, but he’ll be playing in the G League, rather than the NBA, reports Marc Stein of Substack (Twitter link). According to Stein, Koufos is signing with the G League Ignite.
Koufos, 32, was a first-round pick in 2008 and has appeared in over 700 total games in the NBA (counting postseason contests) for Utah, Minnesota, Denver, Memphis, and Sacramento. However, he has been out of the league since playing for the Kings in 2018/19, having spent the last two seasons in the EuroLeague with CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos.
According to Stein, Koufos – who posted regular season averages of 5.7 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 11 NBA seasons – received multiple offers from European teams this offseason, but decided to sign with the Ignite instead.
The G League Ignite is the league’s developmental team for top prospects who are not yet draft-eligible. That group of prospects – which will include Jaden Hardy this year – is supplemented by a handful of experienced veterans who serve as mentors to their young teammates. In 2020/21, Amir Johnson and Jarrett Jack were among those veteran mentors. This year, Koufos will play that role.
Although the Ignite won’t take part in the standard G League regular season in 2021/22, the team will compete in the league-wide Showcase Cup tournament that will tip off in early November. Their full roster will be announced at some point before then.