Despite no one getting drafted into the NBA on Thursday night, the Illinois basketball team now has another player heading to The Association.
As expected, no Illini players were selected in the 2022 NBA Draft. While I had hoped maybe just maybe one player would sneak into the bottom of the second round, I realized that the likelihood was extremely low.
That didn’t stop Kofi Cockburn from pursuing his dreams, though. Hours after the draft, Tony Jones of The Athletic announced that Kofi had agreed to a deal with the Utah Jazz.
Kofi’s deal is an Exhibit 10 contract. This is a one-year deal for the league minimum. The Jazz are able to convert the contract into a two-way deal before the regular season or they can also release him as the Exhibit 10 deal is a non-guaranteed contract.
Former Illinois basketball big man Kofi Cockburn will get his shot with the Utah Jazz.
Honestly, Kofi couldn’t have landed with a better team. I expect him to enter the Summer League with the Jazz and tear it up. His future with the organization seems positive as well.
I see Utah giving Kofi a two-way contact that way he can play for the Salt Lake City Stars of the G-League and hone his skills. This would be the best route. But there is also a possibility Kofi gets fast-tracked to the NBA.
The Jazz have been rumored to be looking for a trade partner for big man Rudy Gobert. I think the Atlanta Hawks and a few other teams have mentioned. If Gobert departs the team, then there is a chance Kofi could see action with the Jazz sometime this season.
Overall, it makes me happy to see another Illinois basketball player in the NBA. I think Kofi will show people he can play in the league. His development will be fun to watch.