Kosta Koufos was maybe one of the quietest first round selections in 2008, a draft that saw the likes of Derrik Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love go in the top 10.
If you were to check out his NBA Draft Profile on NBA.com, you would see at the bottom that his strengths are listed. You won’t find “can throw down with the best of ‘em” or “puts up baskets in bunches”. But what you will find is this: “Legit seven-footer with a feathery shooting touch from the outside. Can post up effectively underneath or face the basket and knock down mid-range shots. Skilled and plays with basketball smarts.”
Most of the time, the very last part goes unnoticed now days. “Skilled and plays with basketball smarts.” Basketball smarts is such an underrated quality to possess in the NBA. Just look at his turnover numbers. Koufos is averaging 0.6 turnovers per game for his career. LeBron James is averaging 3.3. Yes, I know LeBron handles the ball a lot more than Koufos does and yes, I know that LeBron is a lot more wanted than the likes of Kosta Koufos. I’m just putting the stat in perspective a little bit.
Koufos only spent one year in college at Ohio State before deciding to go pro. In that single season, he averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Did I mention that he had to replace Greg Oden at center? He went on that season to be named the MVP of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) after leading Ohio State to the championship. Even though he left college early, he has since started taking online classes to finish his degree. This just proves his work ethic.
All of that hard work has culminated into the best season of his career. This season, Koufos is one of the only consistencies that the Nuggets have had on the block. While Kenneth Faried spends some time in the post, I don’t classify him as a true big man. If you ask me, the only true big man on Denver’s roster is Koufos. This season, Koufos is averaging 8.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game this season. All of those are career highs for the Canton, Ohio native. He’s also shooting 59.8 percent from the floor and he is averaging more minutes this season than any other.
It’s very easy to say that Kosta Koufos is quietly making a name for himself within the Denver Nuggets organization and before long, I believe that he will become a staple within the organization and maybe even the NBA.