Ohio State center Kosta Koufos is thinking about a key decision in his basketball career. He has two logical choices: Koufos can either stay in college or enter the NBA Draft.
That being said, a return to college seems logical. Heading into the year, Koufos was considered a top-five pick. Koufos averaged 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks and was named the NIT's Most Outstanding Player. Overall, a solid year for a freshman center, but he was not as good as expected. Another year at Ohio State would help his draft stock.
Or so it would seem. According to DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony, the arrival of fellow seven footer B.J. Mullens could hurt Koufos. Givony said, ''They can't really play together, especially under Thad's system; he values defense so heavily. It's going to be a little bit difficult for (Koufos) playing with B.J. Mullens. B.J.'s a highly touted guy, and you'd think he would be one and done himself.''
Looking at the NBA Draft, Koufos has to like his chances since height always seems to rise on draft day. As a legitimately-skilled seven footer, teams will be interested. But Koufos is hardly ready for the NBA: he isn't much of a defender, rebounder, or physical presence. If he entered the draft, he would likely be drafted in the bottom half of the first round.
Where does all of this leave Koufos? According to his mom, Kathy Koufos, playing basketball in Greece is a possibility. He is a citizen of Greece and played for the Greek national team. When he decided to attend Ohio State, Koufos turned down contract offers to play professionally in Greece, some reports said.
Playing in Greece would benefit Kosta Koufos in several ways.
- Koufos would make a good chunk of money.
- He would continue his development before entering the NBA.
- The European playing style better suits his game, allowing Koufos to make a bigger impact on the court.
- Koufos would receive more playing time than he would if he went to the NBA immediately.
- Connect with his heritage, I guess?
- He can still develop while being paid by an NBA team.
- What if he goes to Greece and his deficiencies are unmasked against the competition?
- Nothing can improve a player's draft stock more than a good NCAA Tournament run. That possibility would be gone.
- Koufos would appear to be crazy to chose Greece over the NCAA and the NBA.