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Nuggets training camp update: Kosta Koufos closing in on starting center role

Kosta Koufos is the early frontrunner for the Nuggets' starting job at center, says head coach George Karl.

Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Denver Nuggets center Kosta Koufos is the favorite to start the team's Oct. 31 opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to head coach George Karl (via Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post).

Koufos has averaged six points and nine rebounds per game during the preseason, which has vaulted him ahead of JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov. Still, the overall plan is to have the three players rotate starts, says Karl:

"If I had to start off by performance in training camp, I'd say Kosta (Koufos) would get the start. But early in the season, winning games, staying consistent, (taking) responsibility, (being) a pro, all those things will come into who plays that position. I still think it's somewhat of a three-headed center."

McGee enjoyed his best season as a pro last year, averaging 11 points and eight rebounds per game. That earned him a contract extension from the Nuggets, who believe he can still make strides as a defensive player while continuing to improve his offensive game.

Koufos, like McGee, is entering his fifth year as a pro. He also enjoyed his best NBA season a year ago, putting up 5.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. Koufos, McGee and the Nuggets resume preseason play on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.