Kosta Koufos a potential offseason target for Celtics
There has been a lot of excitement among Celtic Nation as the summer approaches. The rebuilding process has quickly accelerated and the Celtics have a ton of financial flexibility and tradable assets. While the hope is for Boston to land an established big in LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love, if they are unable, it is entirely possible that they go for what's worked for them. I'm referring to the less expensive players who will have something to prove, like Jae Crowder, Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller, and others.
According to WEEI's Ben Rohrbach, the next player of this ilk to land in green could be center Kosta Koufos. While he would naturally be less attractive than a top-tier guy, seeing Zeller make such strides under Brad Stevens was encouraging, and so the potential upside for a properly utilized Koufos is palpable. The 26-year-old is a respectable two-way 7-footer who simply has not had a season where he's seen significant time on the floor.
In 2012-13 as a Denver Nugget, Koufos started 81 games but only averaged 22 minutes. Statistically that year, Koufos was productive, as he averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds with a block. He spent the following two seasons with the Grizzlies after being traded, and again he played very little behind Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, averaging only 17 minutes per game. Over the course of his career, he's shot 52% from the field and 62% from the line.
Koufos is big, young, and likely hungry to prove himself. As a backup center, he's proved to be highly efficient on the both offense and defense. Via Rohrbach, Koufos held opponents to 46.9% shooting at the rim and shooting 56.2% within 8 feet of the basket. The Celtics have been cognizant of the center's potential, as according to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Celtics had expressed interest in Koufos in trade talks during the season.
If Ainge and the Celtics cannot manage to swing an All-Star caliber big man in free agency, and especially if Boston decides against drafting a big in June, expect Koufos to be an inexpensive option as another potentially pleasant surprise.
Follow Sam on Twitter @bosgreenroom Photo via Greg Cooper, usatoday.com