Report: Kosta Koufos, CSKA Moscow Agree to American Record Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dario Saric (36), of Croatia, guards against Sacramento Kings center Kosta Koufos (41) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 132-105. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)
Hannah Foslien/Associated Press

Kosta Koufos is the latest NBA player who has found a better opportunity playing overseas.

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Koufos agreed to a deal with CSKA Moscow to become the highest-paid American-born player in Europe next season. 

In the wake of winning the 2018-19 EuroLeague title, CSKA Moscow is taking advantage of its powerhouse status. The team also agreed to terms with former Phoenix Suns first-round draft pick Dragan Bender this week, per Nikos Varlas of EuroHoops.net.

The Ohio State product entered the league as a first-round pick of the Utah Jazz in 2008 but hasn't lived up to the expectations that come with such a draft status.

He was largely a journeyman before spending the last four seasons on the Sacramento Kings, and he has also played for the Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies.

Koufos played 42 games for the Kings last season and averaged 3.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.4 blocks a night.

It was a step back from his career averages of 5.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game, and he has never posted better than 8.0 points a night in a single season. He doesn't represent much more than interior depth, especially at this point of his career after turning 30 years old during the 2018-19 campaign.

Opponents shot 0.9 percent worse overall and 2.1 percent worse within six feet of the basket than their normal averages when he defended them last season, per NBA.com.

That defense is surely one reason he generated interest from multiple sources this offseason.

Haynes reported in July the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Kings demonstrated "preliminary interest" in the big man after many of the league's marquee free agents had already found their next home.

With the opportunity to earn a lucrative deal from one of the world's best teams, Koufos ultimately decided CSKA Moscow was the right fit for him now. The club will be able to use his veteran presence and rim protection heading into the 2019-20 season.

 

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