A Royal Acquisition: Kosta Koufos


"Our ‘A Royal Acquisition’ series takes a look at pending free agents or potential trade targets that could make sense for the Sacramento Kings this offseason. These columns are meant to be speculative by nature. Some may have actual rumors and insider speculation behind them, and some may not. You’ve been warned. In this column, Rafe Wong takes a look at Memphis Grizzlies Free Agent Center, Kosta Koufos."

Kosta Koufos

Height: 7’0 Weight: 265

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The Player: Since the existence of the Ranadive era, the front office has shied away from adding defensive talent. Hopefully that ends this offseason with the addition of Kosta Koufos, or any other defensive-minded player.

What makes Koufos an attractive addition is his versatility on the defensive end. His efficiency as a rim protector and also as a post defender are definitely tools the Kings could use in both the starting lineup and on the bench.

If Koufos does sign with Sacramento, his versatility gives George Karl more leeway in terms of where to place players in his rotation.

Statistics: For Koufos, his numbers are not going to knock your socks off. As a reserve for the Memphis Grizzlies, Koufos averaged 5.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Despite his mundane stats, his PER of 14.21 is surprisingly high. That is because what Koufos lacks on offense, he makes up on defense.

Based on NBA.com’s advance players stats, Koufos had an impressive 94.8 defensive rating last season, which is one of the lowest ratings for qualifying players, and even lower than 1st team defender Tony Allen at 94.9.

Again, Koufos will never be a numbers guy, and they will not completely justify how efficient he really was for the Grizzlies. His defensive talent is real, and for a team like Sacramento who has lacked defensive minded players for quite a while, they can definitely use a guy like Kosta Koufos as part of their rotation.

The Acquisition: I see the signing of Koufos to Sacramento as a very realistic scenario. At the end of this season Koufos will be an unrestricted free agent, so he has complete control of his destiny. The Kings have the cap room to make a convincing bid for Koufos, and if the Kings are successful in making an offer to his liking there is definitely a chance that Koufos would agree to it.

The Fit: Like I mentioned before, I think Koufos is a great fit for the Kings because of what he brings defensively. His ability to defend the post and protect the rim at an efficient rate not only makes him compatible with DeMarcus Cousins, but his talent can be utilized in multiple lineups.

There have been rumors and speculation suggesting that the Kings would like Rudy Gay to start at power forward next season, and if that’s the case, Koufos can always become an elite backup behind Cousins, which is another role that the Kings need to fulfill. Coach Karl can choose between his stretch four in Gay, and a lock down defender in Koufos at the power forward position.

Final Thoughts: There is a rumor out that Sacramento is indeed interested in signing Koufos, and that Koufos is looking for another team to have a bigger role with. More specifics to this rumor can be read by clicking here. If Sacramento and Koufos do agree to terms, it sounds like Koufos will be the Kings starting four going into next season. Or at the very least, that is the type of role he is looking for.

The idea of Rudy Gay starting at the four is enticing to me, but I would not mind if Koufos took that spot. Like I mentioned before, the Kings really lack defensive players on their roster. The frontcourt already has ammunition on offense in Gay and Cousins, so to add a potentially elite level defender in Koufos could be a major upgrade to the Kings starting front court.

Overall, the Kings need to add at least one defensive player to their roster, and Koufos fits the bill for their needs. Make it happen!

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