Garrett Temple, the other King known for his defense, calls Koufos the “ultimate professional.” “He’s perfect in terms of he knows his role and just goes out and does it, no matter if he plays 15 minutes, 30 minutes,” Temple said. “He’s one of the best defensive bigs, if not the best I’ve been on a team with, knows where to be on offense in his rolling spots and hits that floater on offense.” Koufos has a player option for next season worth $8.7 million. Temple, who also has a player option for next season, is already campaigning for Koufos to return.
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Alex Kennedy: Kosta Koufos has received interest from the Mavs, Lakers and Kings among others. The Bucks showed interest too (before landing Greg Monroe).
Chris Mannix: With Monta Ellis off the market, a name to keep an eye on in Sacramento: Kosta Koufos. One of best available bigs in dwindling market.
Koufos is already a hot name with Orlando, Sacramento and Boston showing interest on him and the Bucks are also in the mix. The team is in the market for a center and Koufos is one of the candidates. The offer that Koufos is going to get is directly connected with the money which the team will have to spend in order to re-sign Khris Middleton.
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March 19, 2018 | 1:42 pm EDT Update
Ira Winderman: Derrick Jones Jr. has rejoined the Heat, with Dwyane Wade still out. Jones has three NBA days remaining on his two-way contract, but that clock ends Saturday, at the conclusion of the G League season.
On Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), James will play in his 70th consecutive game as he chases the first season in which he plays in all 82 games. Back in 2015, however, James was laying on the court during timeouts, propped on a towel in discomfort. It brought to mind Larry Bird and Steve Nash, all-time greats who saw their careers zapped in their 30s because of back issues. James needed two anti-inflammatory injections in his lower back in a 10-month span in 2015, one shutting him down for two weeks midseason and another wiping out his preseason. And the possibility was left open that he might need more numbing shots, an indication he was dealing with something serious.
Raimon was a SEAL for 15 years and became a disciple of biomechanics when he used the science to help himself to get over a severe neck injury suffered during a parachute jump that Navy doctors struggled to heal. He purposely avoids the spotlight and doesn’t do interviews. James generally doesn’t speak about Raimon or his techniques, and he credits the Cavs training staff with working to keep him in the best shape. “Between Donnie and Mike, it’s a great one-two punch,” James said.
Seeing him turn his ankle nearly 90 degrees only to tighten his shoelaces and finish with a triple-double. Watching him show up four hours before a playoff game to get in a sweat-soaked workout, then play more than 40 minutes and score 40 points. And the topper: the time James gained seven pounds during an Eastern Conference finals game. Some Miami Heat teammates saw the scale and attest to it in amazement. James himself just shrugs and calls it “weird as hell.” The truly wild part is that it was from 271 pounds to 278 pounds, though James is much lighter these days.
He’s won just over 71 percent of jump balls this year, fourth in the NBA among qualifying centers, according to tracking by analytics site Nylon Calculus. The rate is up from last year’s 66 percent, which ranked seventh among qualifying centers. “All I’m looking for is just how they mask it, really, because it’s the first one to the ball,” Adams said. “You don’t have to jump super high. You just have to get there before anyone.”
“Some officials just come right in the center circle and throw it up right away. If you’re not ready, you’re going to lose the tip,” Donovan said. “There’s other guys that come in there and make sure you’re ready, wait for a second, then throw it up. Like anything else, players have routines. Officials have routines, too.”