Kosta Koufos

Kosta Koufos Signs In Greece

Veteran NBA center Kosta Koufos has signed a deal to suit up for Olympiacos B.C. in Greece, the team announced in a press release. Koufos spent last season with CSKA Moscow in Russia.

Koufos, soon to be 32, has spent 11 seasons in the NBA, last suiting up for the Kings during the 2018/19 campaign. In 42 games during that season, Koufos averaged 3.7 PPG and 4.2 RPG.

In 686 regular-season games, Koufos has posted career marks of 5.7 PPG and 5.0 RPG for the Jazz, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Kings.

In 17 games for CSKA Moscow last season, Koufos averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 9.5 minutes per contest.

Kosta Koufos Working Toward NBA Comeback

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.

International Notes: James, Koufos, Kaba, Delaney, Clark

EuroLeague powerhouse CSKA Moscow has agreed to a two-year contract extension with former NBA guard Mike James, according to a report from Russian outlet Izvestia (hat tip to Sportando). James enjoyed a brief NBA stint in 2017/18 when he appeared in 36 games for Phoenix and New Orleans, but has otherwise spent his professional career overseas, playing for teams in Greece and Italy before joining CSKA.

Meanwhile, the same Izvestia report also indicates that CSKA Moscow isn’t expected to exercise its second-year option on veteran center Kosta Koufos, who signed a one-plus-one deal with the team in 2019. Koufos spent over a decade in the NBA, playing in 686 games from 2008-19, but it’s not clear if the 31-year-old would draw any stateside interest if and when he becomes a free agent.

Here are a few more NBA-adjacent updates on international basketball leagues:

  • Alpha Kaba, whose NBA rights are held by the Hawks, is joining French team Nanterre 92, according to a report from BeBasket (French link). A 24-year-old forward/center, Kaba was selected by Atlanta with the No. 60 pick in the 2017 draft, but has continued to play in France since then.
  • Spanish team FC Barcelona has parted ways with veteran guard Malcolm Delaney, per a team press release (h/t to Sportando). A standout EuroLeague contributor who spent two seasons with the Hawks from 2016-18, Delanyed is in talks with Italian club Olimpia Milano and has drawn interest from Olympiacos in Greece, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Veteran forward Earl Clark, who appeared in 261 NBA games from 2009-15, has parted ways with Spanish team San Pablo Burgos, according to the club (h/t to Sportando). Clark has spent time in China, Turkey, Montenegro, Spain, and the G League since last playing in the NBA.

Kosta Koufos Expected To Leave CSKA Moscow

Former NBA center Kosta Koufos will likely leave CSKA Moscow, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Koufos’ departure was hastened by the addition of Nikola Milutinov, whose rights are owned by the Spurs.

Koufos became the highest-paid American player in Europe when he signed with the Russian team last summer, making $6MM over two years. The contract included an escape clause in case he wanted to return to the NBA next season.

However, injuries have limited Koufos’ productivity. He averaged just 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in the EuroLeague and 8.4 PPG and 5.2 RPG in the VTB League.

Koufos, 31, played for five teams over 11 NBA seasons and spent the last four years with the Kings before leaving for Europe. He averaged 3.7 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 42 games as a reserve during the 2018/19 season.

Kosta Koufos To Join CSKA Moscow

Veteran NBA center Kosta Koufos has reached a contract agreement with defending EuroLeague champions CSKA Moscow, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Haynes, the deal will make Koufos the highest-paid American player in Europe next season.

Sources tell Haynes (Twitter link) that Koufos’ new deal will be worth $6MM over two years. It will also have an NBA out, in the event that the big man decides to return stateside for the 2020/21 season.

Koufos, 30, spent the last four seasons with the Kings, who were said to have some interest in re-signing him. However, after averaging about 19-20 minutes per game in his first three years in Sacramento, the former first-round pick saw his role cut back in 2018/19 as the club focused on developing younger players.

In 42 games (12.0 MPG) last season, Koufos recorded 3.7 PPG and 4.2 RPG. He has posted career marks of 5.7 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 686 total regular season contests for the Jazz, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Kings.

CSKA Moscow was also rumored to be nearing a deal with former No. 4 overall pick Dragan Bender earlier this week. It’s not clear if the team’s new deal with Koufos will have any impact on Bender’s situation, or if both players will ultimately join the Russian club.

Several Teams Interested In Kosta Koufos

The Kings would like to re-sign free agent center Kosta Koufos, but he has attracted preliminary interest from the Pistons, Raptors and Bucks as well, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Haynes suggests Koufos might remain on the market until the latter stages of free agency.

Koufos, 30, has spent the past four seasons in Sacramento, but has seen his role diminish as the team has added younger talent. He played just 42 games this year, averaging 3.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 12 minutes per night.

Koufos is a traditional low-post center known for his defense and rebounding, but his inability to stretch the floor or hit free throws has limited his effectiveness.

A first-round pick by the Jazz in 2008, Koufos bounced around the NBA before landing a four-year deal with the Kings in 2015. He also spent time with the Timberwolves, Nuggets and Grizzlies.

Free Agent Rumors: Kanter, Favors, Horford, Wolves

The Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Celtics are expected to be among the teams to show interest in Enes Kanter when free agency opens, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Portland doesn’t have Bird rights on Kanter, and Boston and L.A. may end up using most or all of their cap room on impact players, so it’s possible that none of those three teams will have the resources to make a strong bid for Kanter. We’ll see if the taxpayer mid-level exception (Trail Blazers) or room exception (Lakers, Celtics) is enough to sign him.

Here are more free agent rumors from around the NBA:

  • Jazz big man Derrick Favors remains under contract in Utah, but because his situation remains in flux due to his non-guaranteed contract, he’ll be permitted to take calls from interested teams during the free agent period, agent Wallace Prather tells Shams Charania of The Athletic. If the Jazz decide not to guarantee Favors’ $17.65MM salary for 2019/20, he’d be waived by July 6 and could join a new club.
  • Reporters around the NBA are still trying to pin down the mystery team that appears to be on track to sign Al Horford to a lucrative four-year contract. Marc Stein of The New York Times thought it might be the Pelicans, but says he has been “strongly advised” that that’s not the case (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) doesn’t believe the Mavericks are seriously in the mix for Horford, despite reports that suggested otherwise.
  • According to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North (by way of Dan Feldman of NBC Sports), the Timberwolves reached out to the Nets to see whether Brooklyn might be interested in Andrew Wiggins in a potential sign-and-trade for RFA-to-be D’Angelo Russell. Predictably, the Nets had no interest in taking on Wiggins’ contract, per Wolfson.
  • The Kings haven’t closed the door on a reunion with Kosta Koufos, who will be an unrestricted free agent this Sunday, and the veteran center feels the same way, writes James Ham of NBC Sports California. Both sides figure to let the market dictate their next moves, Ham adds.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Pacific Division:

Kevon Looney, Warriors, 22, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.57MM deal in 2018
Looney has received rotation minutes throughout the season, providing defense and rebounding while the stars do most of the scoring. Looney, who had back-to-back 12-rebound games this week, has made the most of his limited offensive opportunities (62.6%) though he doesn’t shoot threes or make enough of his free throws. Efficiency ratings and advanced defensive metrics are above-average. It remains to be seen how much DeMarcus Cousins‘ return will impact his minutes but for now, he’s enhanced his resume.

Patrick Beverley, Clippers, 30, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $23MM deal in 2015
Beverley missed most of last season due to right knee surgery. Beverley’s offensive numbers are down but that’s not the strength of his game. He has resumed his role as a pesky, on-the-ball defender and Doc Rivers has played him an average of 26.9 MPG this month. Beverley posted one of the oddest stat lines of the year for a guard on Monday — three points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in 25 minutes against New Orleans. His ability to get under opponents’ skin will help him land a multi-year deal in the summer.

Ryan Anderson, Suns, 30, PF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $80MM deal in 2016
Anderson will make a substantial amount of money next season, yet he’ll probably sign for the veteran’s minimum. How does that work? He’s guaranteed $15.6MM in the last year of his contract and the Suns have until July 10th to decide whether to give him a $21.2MM full guarantee. Considering that Anderson never plays anymore, that will likely be an easy decision for the Suns. Anderson cashed in at just the right time the last time he entered the market but he’s gone from starter on one of the league’s top teams one season to spectator on one of the league’s worst clubs this year.

Ivica Zubac, Lakers, 21, C (Up) — Signed to a three-year, $3.9MM deal in 2016
Coach Luke Walton and the front office didn’t appear to have any faith in their young big earlier this season, as evidenced by the early-season signing of Tyson Chandler. When finally given a chance a month ago, Zubac has delivered some solid performances. He erupted for 26 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes against Oklahoma City on Thursday. Zubac needs to become a more physical defender but he has a deft touch around the rim. A restricted free agent, Zubac’s status with the franchise hinges on how much cap space they want to free up this summer. His qualifying offer is just over $1.9MM.

Kosta Koufos, Kings, 29, C (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $32.9MM deal in 2015
Considering how the Kings have been collecting young bigs through the draft in the last couple of years, it was almost inevitable that Koufos’ role would diminish. That’s especially true this month, as Koufos hasn’t seen the court in the last four games. Koufos is a traditional center who doesn’t shoot threes and he’s also a poor free throw shooter. Defense and rebounding are the areas where Koufos can help a team in a backup role but offers on the open market will be modest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kings In Position To Be Active At Trade Deadline

Sacramento remains the only team in the NBA to have any cap space on its 2018/19 payroll, and as the February 7 trade deadline fast approaches, this means that the Kings are positioned to be a major player in the trade market, if they so choose, writes James Ham of NBC Sports California.

That being said, the Kings aren’t interested in taking on any long-term deals with their cap space unless a player on a long-term deal can help the team win now and in the future. Additionally, the team is reportedly not interested in taking on any expiring contracts to help another club save money unless assets are attached to said contract.

So, what do the Kings want? Per Ham, the Kings are motivated to add more length and size at the small forward position, while also interested in adding a veteran point guard to bring off the bench in a back-up/potential mentorship role for budding star De’Aaron Fox.

[RELATED: Kings Among Teams Interested in Jeremy Lin]

In addition to their $11MM in cap space, the Kings have the expiring contracts of Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos, and Ben McLemore to worth with. Swingman Iman Shumpert is also in the final year of his contract, but has provided a veteran spark to a young team still competing for a playoff spot. Then again, Shumpert is only 6’5″ and plays small forward. As mentioned above, the team is interested in adding length to that position, so Shumpert could also be expendable if an attractive enough deal comes along.

As for the Kings’ current assets, Sacramento has no interest in moving any of its young talent (e.g. Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley, or Buddy Hield) unless it means the team is making a massive long-term investment in a star-level player. And even then, the aforementioned core group of youngsters is close to untouchable.

In Ham’s view, general manager Vlade Divac should look to be active, as Sacramento has worked hard to be a player in the trade market and is the only team with cap space to use. However, the Kings should also be wary of using that cap space to take on future money that could eat into future cap room. Ultimately, Ham would be surprised to see no moves made before the deadline.

Knicks Have Explored Kanter, Parker Trade Scenario

As the Knicks attempt to find a new home for Enes Kanter, one scenario recently discussed by the team would see New York acquire Bulls forward Jabari Parker, reports Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Both Kanter ($18.6MM) and Parker ($20MM) are on pricey expiring contracts, and the Knicks were previously cited as one of the teams that expressed interest in the former No. 2 overall pick. However, Chicago is unlikely to have any interest in Kanter, since the team is headed for the lottery and wants youngsters like Wendell Carter, Lauri Markkanen, and Bobby Portis to handle the brunt of the frontcourt minutes.

Bondy acknowledges as much, writing that finding a third team to take Kanter represented a “snag in the framework” of a deal involving Kanter and Parker. It’s unclear if discussions ever really got off the ground and advanced beyond the preliminary stages, Bondy adds.

Like the Bulls, the Knicks are currently focused on player development rather than playoff contention, and Kanter has made it clear he’s not on board with that approach, so the team has been on the lookout for potential trades.

The Knicks reportedly talked to the Kings about a possible swap involving Kanter and Zach Randolph, who has an $11MM+ expiring contract. Bondy suggests that Sacramento would like to add Kosta Koufos – another veteran on an expiring contract – to that hypothetical deal, but says the Knicks would require a sweetener (ie. a second-round pick) to make it work.

It’s not clear how much interest the Knicks really have in Parker, but if they like him as a player and view him as a better long-term fit than Kanter, acquiring him in a trade would give them some options in the offseason. His $20MM team option will certainly be declined, but whichever team has him at the end of the season would hold his Non-Bird rights and could offer him a starting salary ranging from anywhere between the minimum and $24MM.