Denver Nuggets center Kosta Koufos announced a few days ago that he will not suit up for the Greek National team because he has decided to stay in Colorado for the summer. The purpose of this is for him to work out with the Nuggets coaching staff so that he can get a step ahead for the 2013-14 NBA season.
There is no question it is a smart move for Koufos to stay in Denver. It is important for him to be around the strength coaches so that he can stay conditioned, while he will also need all the extra time around NBA coaches he can get.
The reason for this is because it is no secret in Denver that backup center JaVale McGee has his eyes set on the starting job. Not to mention, the Nuggets are seriously contemplating giving McGee every possible chance to become the starter next season.
“I know JaVale would like to start,” Nuggets coach George Karl said last week, according to NBA.com. “We will push him to work hard this summer and help get him into the position where that could be a possibility.”
The fact is Koufos did not exactly produce in 81 starts during the regular season. The 24-year-old averaged 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 22.4 minutes per game. Meanwhile, McGee averaged 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 18.1 minutes per game. It is true McGee averaged less rebounds, but who knows what he could accomplish with more than four extra minutes per contest.
There is no denying that Koufos will have his hands full showing the organization he should remain the starter. One has to imagine that is a big reason why he ultimately decided against joining the Greek national team for the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket tournament.