Memphis Grizzlies: Kosta Koufos Will Thrive More Than Ever in 2013

By Ryan Heckman


Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies made one of the better and more underrated moves of the offseason by acquiring center Kosta Koufos from the Denver Nuggets in late June. Coming to Memphis will do wonders for the young seven-footer.

After spending the last three years with the Nuggets, Koufos has emerged as a candidate to breakout in 2013 under the type of system the Grizzlies have going. Former coach Lionel Hollins did a great job instilling a toughness into the team and they will look to continue that next season even though he is gone.

Koufos will come off the bench, unlike he did when he was in Denver when he started all 81 games he played in. That shouldn’t stop him from producing efficiently like he did with the Nuggets.

In 22 minutes per game last year, Koufos averaged 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. The Nuggets didn’t feature him too much offensively, but he did shoot the ball at 58 percent from the field. Koufos finished the year with a PER of 17.22 — very impressive for a guy with relatively lower minutes.

In Memphis, he will be sharing minutes with guys like Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies do a lot more through the post than most teams in the NBA due to their strength in the starting front court. Koufos will only further assist the team in finishing towards the top of the league in post production.

Koufos is coming from a team who was more offensively focused in the Nuggets, to now a team with a focus on defense. The intensity that Memphis brings to that side of the ball will likely inspire Koufos to continue that aspect of his game even more so than prior to being moved.

I am looking forward to seeing that the future holds for this guy, as he is still only 24 years old and has a bright future ahead of him with an outstanding playoff team  like the Grizzlies. Look for Koufos to take on very important minutes off the bench and make the most of them in 2013.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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