Nuggets trade Kosta Koufos to Memphis for Darrell Arthur, pick

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Kosta Koufos was traded to Memphis.    (USATSI)
Kosta Koufos was traded to Memphis. (USATSI)

Very quietly, an NBA playoff team traded their starting center on draft night and hardly anyone noticed.

The Denver Nuggets traded starting center Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night in exchange for forward Darrell Arthur and the rights to the 55th pick Joffrey Lauvergne.

Koufos started 81 games for the Nuggets last season, and was a team leader in plus/minus under head coach George Karl. Nuggets managment reportedly wanted JaVae McGee to start and that in part lead to their decision to part ways with Karl. Moving Koufos forces JaVale McGee into the starting spot.

The same benefit is given to the Grizzlies, whose new management wanted Ed Davis to get more time but who was buried behind Darrell Arthur for Lionel Hollins. Koufos gives the Grizzlies a legit backup center they've needed for several seasons behind DPOY Marc Gasol.

Koufos averaged eight points and seven rebounds last season for the Nuggets, Arthur averaged six points and three rebounds last season after returning from a leg injury.

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