Since LeBron James and Kevin Love joined the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer there have been rumors about the team trying to find a rim protector to add to their roster. The most common name thrown around until this point has always been Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov but this weekend a new name popped into the group that would be a better fit in the wine and gold–Kosta Koufos.
Stein Line Live post to usher you into a new NBA week: Add Grizz center Kosta Koufos to Cavs' big man wish list – http://t.co/TFZ9x8JRHS
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 8, 2014
While Koufos isn’t a big name to many people he would be a perfect fit for the Cavs. While he isn’t an elite athlete Koufos has a terrific understanding of when and where to be at all times and by doing so is able to bother shooters plenty. Last season Koufos held opponents to just 46.4 percent shooting within 6 feet of the rim when he was defending them, a 13.8 percent drop from what that shooter would shoot without Kofous in the area according to NBA.com stats.
This season Koufos is posting rim protection numbers on par with teammate Marc Gasol as opponents are shooting just 48.8 percent at the rim with Koufos defending and 48.7 with the more heralded Gasol there. Koufos’s time as an impact defender go back to when he played heavy minutes as well.
According to 82games.com the 2012-2013 Denver Nuggets were 3.3 points per 100 possessions better defensively with Koufos on the floor than when he sat, numbers that only Andre Iguodala surpassed on that team. That same Nuggets team was also better offensively with Koufos on the court which would be a great sign for him heading to Cleveland.
That Nuggets group ran up and down the floor and Koufos was able to keep pace with them, filling the lane hard and making great cuts at the perfect time to get open looks. That would fit perfectly for the Cavs with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love to bring the scoring and playmaking while Koufos finds garbage points on cuts and offensive rebounds.
The Cavs aren’t going to find a huge name to fill their gaping hole at center but in Koufos they can find a difference maker. With Koufos expressing interest in leaving Memphis after the season the Cavs have someone that could come cheaper than other options and provide a tangible impact. If they can find a way to add him for a reasonable price it would be an absolute home run in my mind.