May 8, 2018, 9:15 pm
2017-18 averages: 71 G | 13 GS | 19.6 MP | 6.7 PTS | 6.6 REB | 1.2 AST | 0.7 STL | 0.5 BLK | 0.7 TOV | 57.1 FG% | 0 3P% | 44.6 FT% |
With changes becoming a regularity at all levels of the Kings organization over the last three seasons, finding a consistent presence in any role can be a struggle. Despite the turnover and directional changes, Kosta Koufos has managed to maintain his status as a consistent and reliable player for Sacramento. Even during a 2017-18 season that featured an organization-wide shift towards youth and development, Koufos filled a similar role to the ones he had in previous years with the team.
A quick look at his production shows an actually remarkable level of consistency in some cases. Koufos has averaged between 19 and 20 minutes per game in all three seasons with the team while taking between 5.5 and 5.7 shots per game. Despite some game-to-game fluctuations, Koufos has been essentially the exact same player every season since joining the Kings.
Offensively, Koufos was right around his career averages but there were some notable changes to his role. 2017-18 was the first season in his career that saw him average more than an assist per game, and that can be primarily attributed to his increased use from the high post. According NBA stats, Koufos had 330 elbow touches last season, registering 20 total assists in those situations. Koufos had just 220 touches at the elbow in the season prior despite playing more minutes, and registered just six assists in those situations.
Dave Joerger’s teams have a reputation for running plays through the high post, and without a clear go-to scoring option on the roster the Kings leaned on this more heavily than they did in Joerger’s first year. Koufos wasn’t particularly good as a playmaker, but he did a good job taking care of the ball and made the right pass more often than not.
Defensively, Koufos was a bit of a mixed bag. Koufos had the highest steal percentage of his career (1.7 percent), but his block percentage (2.2 percent) was his lowest since his second season in the NBA when he played just 172 total minutes. Generally speaking, Koufos’ block totals have declined since his arrival in Sacramento, but last season was easily the biggest dropoff of the three.
As a backup center, Koufos’ primary value comes on the defensive end of the floor. Koufos was still a positive presence for the Kings on defense, but without his usual ability to protect the rim, it becomes more difficult to project him as a difference maker for another team. Sacramento needed a player with his rebounding ability and general experience defensively, but those skills are much less valuable to teams with more experience.
Usually Koufos’ value to other teams wouldn’t be an important point to focus on, but with a player option on the table for next season, Koufos will need to decide if he’s better off staying with the Kings for just over $8 million or opting out to try and get a long-term deal.
While he was well worth his contract last season for the reasons mentioned above, the Kings may be better off with him opting out given that they could really use the additional cap space and extra roster spot. Sacramento will be trying to incorporate Harry Giles into the rotation next season and may also add additional players to an already-crowded frontcourt through the draft and free agency.
With the rest of the NBA rapidly looking to add more talented players at the expense of size, Koufos may not be able to find a deal more valuable than what he would get by opting in. Koufos’ consistency is incredibly rare and makes him one of the more valuable backup centers in the NBA, but that may not be worth a long-term deal in the modern NBA.
August 25, 2019, 11:25 pmCaris LeVertSG, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets and Caris LeVert have agreed to terms on a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension, as per Adrian Wojnarowski.
This makes sense for the Nets, who have long extolled their love for LeVert's long-term outlook. This sounds like they're fully committed to making him a core player. Enjoy his upside this season, as he will likely take a usage hit when Kevin Durant returns to full health and take the floor.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 11:18 pmEvan FournierSF, Orlando Magic
In an 82-80 win by France over Italy on Sunday, Evan Fournier posted 29 points in 19 minutes of action.
This was nice showing for Fournier, who is coming of a relatively lackluster 2018-19 campaign. He will have to fend off an emergent Terrence Ross for those minutes at the wing this season and will need production-per-minute on this level if he wants to stay on the floor for the Magic.
Source: Orlando Magic Daily on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 8:29 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo had little to say about his rehab process (ruptured quad tendon) at his basketball camp in Indiana.
We weren't expecting earth shattering details while Oladipo was busy overseeing his basketball camp, but more information about the Pacer would be most welcome. It is hard to know what you will get from Oladipo on draft day, but you have to figure someone in your league will be interested in taking a gamble on him. He is still not scrimmaging with other players, and whenever he does return to game action this season, it is unlikely he will resume being a top player in the early going.
Source: The Athletic
August 25, 2019, 8:08 pmBriante WeberPG, International
Briante Weber, after spending the end of last season with the Greek club Olympiacos, is joining the Metropolitians 92, based in Boulogne-Levallois, France.
Weber attended free agent mini-camps in June with the Raptors and Wolves, and spent time in the G-League last year, but has never been able to catch on long-term with an NBA team. He has had brief stops with several NBA squads over the years, so it is possible he could return to a roster at some point this season. There is nothing to see here in terms of fantasy though.
August 25, 2019, 7:54 pmRui HachimuraPF, Washington Wizards
Rui Hachimura showed off his scoring prowess with 31 points in Japan's comeback victory over Germany on Saturday.
After a nice string of Summer League performances, Rui Hachimura is continuing his strong play in FIBA World Cup exhibition games for Japan. He can clearly get his own look in the mid-range, and the rookie should get a chance to perform for the Wizards this year. Keep an eye on Hachimura's preseason opportunities, as the competition for the Wizards' power forward minutes isn't fierce. He could be worth a late-round flyer in standard league-drafts.
Source: Mike Schmitz on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 6:50 pmRobert CovingtonSF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Robert Covington (right knee) is not expected to have any limitations heading into training camp.
Covington had arthroscopic surgery in April after missing 47 games last season due to a bone bruise on his right knee.
Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune
August 25, 2019, 6:32 pmJeff TeaguePG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jeff Teague (left ankle) is not expected to have any restrictions for training camp.
Teague had a left ankle debridement procedure in April to help alleviate inflammation. Teague's ankles have given him trouble throughout his career and he only played 42 games last season. With a clean bill of health Teague will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season.
Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune
August 24, 2019, 11:09 pmDerrick WhitePG, San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White has reportedly passed the first concussion test after taking a nasty fall in Team USA's tuneup game vs. the Australian Boomers on Saturday.
This is good news. White has worked hard for his Team USA roster spot and should provide some guard depth for them once he clears concussion protocols. He was an eye-opener last season and should still hold some fantasy value despite the return of a now-healthy Dejounte Murray.
Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter
August 24, 2019, 10:27 amKyle KuzmaPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma (sore left ankle) will not take part in the FIBA World Cup as Team USA announces its final roster.
Kuzma sat out Team USA's final tuneup against Australia on Saturday as Marc Stein reports that he is flying back to Los Angeles to get treatment. We should still expect him to be ready for training and congrats to Mason Plumlee for making the team as many speculated that he would be the final cut.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
August 24, 2019, 8:58 amKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker scored 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting with four rebounds with two assists as USA Basketball had it's 78-game winning streak in tournament and exhibition games snapped on Saturday.
Walker continues to assert himself as the team's best player but USA losing to Australia was the much bigger story in this one. Harrison Barnes also played well as he chipped in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds. USA will take on Canada on Monday in their last exhibition before taking on the Czech Republic in the first official match of the tournament on September 1.