These teams should give a look at Kofi Cockburn in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Kofi Cockburn starred at Illinois, earning two All-American nods with the Fighting Illini. He recently entered his name into the NBA draft and will be one of the most unique players on the board. Cockburn’s only a projected late second-round pick by most draft experts, but had one of the best careers of anyone to wear the orange and blue.
Cockburn is a dominant big man who stepped all over the Big Ten for three years. While he does not fit extremely well in today’s NBA, he could still be useful as a high-energy piece who will throw down thunderous dunks and use his massive body to back down any defender.
5. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks truthfully lack a big man. Whether due to injuries or due to guard dominance we have not seen a big man take over in Dallas. With Jalen Brunson or Luka Doncic absolutely taking over these playoffs it’s safe to say this offseason the Mavericks need to find a true big man to help even out the misbalance they have on the team.
4. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are an interesting case in the sense that Jakob Poeltl had a solid season, but they need to lay a foundation for their future. With Greg Popovich seemingly staying another year, who better to help Kofi Cockburn utilize his skills than the man who coached Tim Duncan. Like all of these teams, Cockburn would be in a developmental or backup role, but he could have the potential to thrive down the line in San Antonio.
3. Golden State Warriors
Don’t worry, it’s not all Texas teams! With James Wiseman coming off an injury, Kevon Looney’s contract expiring, and Draymond Green not getting any younger, the Warriors will need a backup big. At the bare minimum, Cockburn could be a developmental center that eventually will be in charge of handling all of the paint and rebounding duties. We saw that before with Eric Paschall – which arguably came out of nowhere. Cockburn would be a perfect fit for the Warriors to run a four out, one in offense. The combination of their shooters and Cockburn in the paint taking away at least one defender at all times is exactly what Steve Kerr likes to run.
2. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have been rumored to be shipping off Myles Turner this offseason leaving them with a sizeable role to fill. While Kofi may not be able to fill all of it, he certainly could fill a portion of it. The Pacers are a young team and with them being rumored to be going after guards in free agency, it’s almost fitting that they draft a backup center to hold down that fort for the time being.
1. Chicago Bulls
Maybe more so a dream for Illini Fans, but the pair of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn would be an excellent source of advertising for the Bulls. All the nostalgia for Illinoians topped off with the ability of a paint presence which the Bulls currently lack, seems like the perfect fit. A center isn’t a pressing need in Chicago, but Nikola Vucevic’s defensive liability in the paint is noticeable. Cockburn to Chicago might be too good to be true, but the fit is there.