One of the reasons (and there were several) that the Nuggets cited when parting ways with head coach George Karl was the fact that they were upset that Karl stubbornly started Kosta Koufos over a player who needed development in JaVale McGee.
That won’t be a problem for new coach Brian Shaw, since Denver has reportedly agreed to ship Koufos out of town.
Nuggets center Kosta Koufos has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, two NBA sources confirmed Thursday, in exchange for Darrell Arthur and the 55th pick in Thursday’s draft.
Koufos started all 81 games he appeared in for the Nuggets last season, and averaged 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocked shots in 22.4 minutes per game.
Arthur was solely used as a reserve in Memphis, and averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game last season, and appeared in 59 contests but started in just three.
Koufos is a better all-around player than Arthur, and may even have more room to improve in the future. But this was about a perceived duplication in Denver, and the new regime is choosing long-term player development over maximizing its regular season wins.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies improve their big man depth behind Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, even if only marginally.