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KSLSports.com - Jazz Sign Illinois Giant Kofi Cockburn After Draft


Ben Anderson

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz have reportedly signed Illinois center Kofi Cockburn to a contract after the conclusion of the 2022 NBA Draft.

ESPN’s draft insider Jonathan Givony originally reported the signing, though the terms of the deal were not released.

“Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn has agreed to a deal with the Utah Jazz, a source tells ESPN,” Givony tweeted.

Illinois' Kofi Cockburn has agreed to a deal with the Utah Jazz, a source tells ESPN.

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 24, 2022

Kofi Cockburn Draft Bio​

Cockburn was one of the most productive players in college over the last three seasons, including averaging a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double during his junior season.

The Illinois product is a throwback center who does most of his damage in the paint using his bruising seven-foot, 285 lbs frame to punish smaller college players near the basket.

In addition to his physical style of play near the rim, Cockburn has a surprisingly soft touch when facing the rim inside of 15 feet.

The Illinois big man auditioned for the Jazz in early June before signing with the team after the draft and discussed what he was trying to how the organization in his workout.

I talked to @IlliniMBB center and the newest @utahjazz center Kofi Cockburn before the draft, this is what he told me.#TakeNote | @kslsports pic.twitter.com/kErQUpcHvu

— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) June 24, 2022

“Just showing them what I worked on this summer,” Cockburn told KSLSports. “My short rolls, making decisions out of it, my short floaters, touch shots around the rim, my energy obviously, I have a really high motor.”

Conditioning will be a key for Cockburn as he hopes to prove he belongs in the NBA, though he made notable strides during his time at Illinois.

The throwback center’s fit is also a concern due to the NBA’s rapidly evolving game three-point heavy game, but his production and size could help him evolve into a longtime backup center.

Footage of Illinois' Kofi Cockburn from the Life Sports Pro Day. The 7-foot Jamaican big man showed his power, infectious energy, 7'4 wingspan and skill-level in an impressive, highly entertaining workout. pic.twitter.com/5eLXn3Biuh

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 26, 2022

“You have Joel Embiid, you have (Nikola) Jokic, most of the great big men in the league right now are seven feet,” Cockburn told KSL Sports. “They just bring something different.”

Cockburn will likely join the Jazz for the Salt Lake City Summer League which begins on July 5 at Vivint Arena before the team travels to Nevada for the Las Vegas Summer League on July 7.

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