September 7, 2017, 9:11 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the tenth installment of a brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season. Over the next two months we will be doing a roundtable series which involves all three of our writers here at Hoop Ball Kings. We’ll be discussing various topics including season projections for each player on the Kings roster, record predictions and more.
First and foremost, we will run through every player currently on the Kings roster and provide our personal predictions for their output this season.
After two full seasons with the Kings, Kosta Koufos has been steady and reliable production wise. In 71 games last season (62 starts), Koufos averaged 6.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game on 55.1 percent shooting from the field. He’s performed exactly as advertised through his two years in Sacramento, which is more so a good thing than bad.
He has exceptional touch around the rim and plays hard on defense; tools he’ll certainly be able to teach the younger guys on the roster. This is the final year of his current contract with the Kings, he then has a player option for $8.7 million the following season but it’s hard to say now whether he will pick that up or not. Either way, he’s a solid player to have on the roster and is an appealing trade chip to use come the trade deadline, or even prior to the start of this season.
He started over 60 games last season, so will we see the same trend this season despite the team’s decision to go young? Or will Koufos spend more time on the bench acting as a mentor for the youngsters?
Stat-line Prediction: 5.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.5 blocks. 56% FG, 0% 3PT, 65% FT.
I have this weird feeling that Koufos may begin the season as a starter, and I can’t decide if that’ll be a good or bad thing. He’s a solid, reliable player so having him as a starter won’t be a bad thing at all. But the Kings are rebuilding, so it would be wise to start the younger guys ahead of players such as Koufos and Randolph.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, I think he’ll hover around 20 minutes per game; at least for the early portion of the season. Similar to last year, he’ll fade as the season progresses and he may even end up being traded at some stage too. Overall, Koufos’ production should be about the same as his career averages.
Stat-line Prediction: 6.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks. 52% FG, 0% 3PT, 62% FT.
With the expectations on young bigs so high for the Kings, it’ll be interesting to see if Koufos is able to get the same 20 minutes per game he’s gotten with Sacramento the past two seasons. If Randolph must face any type of repercussions for his drug possession, Koufos could see some extended minutes at the beginning of the season.
But, aside from that, I’d expect Koufos to see about 15-18 minutes per game. He brings what he always has to the table: an inside presence with a floater that’s not always on the money. He is at times a decent defender, but he’s a bit of a liability against stretch big men.
Coach Joerger and Koufos go back to their Memphis days, however, so it’d be surprising if he doesn’t see some consistent minutes at least from the get-go
Stat-line Prediction: 7.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 blocks. 53% FG, 0% 3PT, 61% FT.
Kosta Koufos is one of the more reliable veterans on the Kings’ roster, and his value to the team primarily relies on his consistency and experience. Koufos will probably see his role with the team expand next season, but it may not be in the categories that people tend to expect.
Dave Joerger prefers bigs that can run the offense, to some degree, much like Marc Gasol was asked to in Memphis. Koufos isn’t likely to be asked to take on a larger role as a scoring threat, but he may be asked to run the offense more often than he has been in the past. This should result in a slight uptick in overall production.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.