With infamous showings of a piss-poor attitude, numerous suspensions and the overall horrible play of his team, it would appear that promising young star DeMarcus Cousins days with the Sacramento Kings could be numbered.
He’s been suspended on three separate occasions this season, and we’re just a little over two months in.
Following a game on November 9th, Cousins was suspended two games by the league for confronting San Antonio Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliot in a “hostile manner“. He was also suspended one game for delivering a cheap shot to the groin of O.J Mayo during a December 10 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
His most recent suspension came prior to Christmas when the Kings suspended him for “unprofessional behaviour and conduct detrimental to the team”.
Kings President of Basketball Relations Geoff Petrie recently told NBA.com analyst David Aldridge that he has no intention of trading away (arguably) his best player.
You can put that one to rest. [Cousins] not going anywhere. You can lay that to rest. Some of that stuff lives in its own reality. Everybody’s moving forward. Cousins is still a young, developing player that’s yet to reach his potential and is still a major piece of the future planning here. Everyone’s committed to working with his development as a player and his overall growth…he’s still an important part of the future.
However, others in the organization appear to be singing to a different tune when it comes to DeMarcus Cousins. According to unnamed sources, it appears that some of his teammates have had it up to here with his behavioral issues.
When he apologized to the team, two players stood up and said, “We’ve heard this bull[bleep] before. You’re either going to be with us, or you’re not. We don’t want to hear any more excuses.”
While it’s certainly hard not to buy into the words of a team president, I find it very hard to believe that the Kings wouldn’t strongly entertain the idea of dealing Cousins if the right trade were to present itself.
Sacramento currently sit third-last in the Western Conference with a record of 11-20 and are certainly headed towards another losing season. The Kings haven’t qualified for the playoffs since 2005-06.
Cousins is their most tradable asset at this point. He’s averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists through 26 games this season. He’s a big body who can box out, grab offensive rebounds, post up and even distribute the basketball effectively. There are plenty of teams around the league who are in desperate need of a big man like DeMarcus.
The Celtics, who currently ranked dead-last in the league with just 38.8 rebounds a night, could use someone with the size down low who can bang and secure boards like a DeMarcus Cousins.
Boston head coach Doc Rivers would be the perfect man for the job to get the very best (both on and off the court) out of Cousins. He’s a very well-spoken individual with a great knack for interacting with players with massive egos and keeping everyone in check. He was able to coach a team with three future hall-of-famers and one all-star point guard and help take them to an NBA Championship in their very first year together.
Even with the Celtics seeming like the perfect destination for Cousins, do the Kings see Boston as a viable trade partner who could deliver the goods in a potential trade?
Well, here’s one deal that’s been making the rounds that makes sense for both parties involved.
Even with his high ceiling, DeMarcus Cousins attitude problems are a huge red flag that will leave many struggling teams around the league hesitant towards possibly acquiring him in a deal and making him their new “franchise player”, or even just a go-to guy on offense. If Sacramento is looking for a bonafide star as part of a package for Cousins, they will have a hard time finding one.
With this (potential) trade, the Kings acquire three young, talented pieces who can be a part of the teams long-term plans. Let’s face it, what Sacramento is working with at the moment talent-wise isn’t getting the job done. Sooner or later, the lightbulbs are going to go off and certain players on the roster are going to be shipped out of town, along with Cousins.
I can even see a guy like Jeff Green, who has his trade restriction expire after January 15th, be involved in a deal to sweeten the pot even more for Sacramento.
The Celtics may be reluctant to move a guy like Avery Bradley, who is slowly becoming one of the best young perimeter defenders in the game, but to get something, you have to give something back. Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger would both become expendable with the arrival of Cousins. The ceiling for Boston’s championship aspirations is slowly closing. They want to win now. Cousins could be the final piece of the puzzle to help move the Celtics up the Eastern Conference ladder.
The comments of Geoff Petrie leave me a little wary on the likelihood of a possible Cousins deal, but as far as Boston is concerned, they should cross there fingers and toes that he’s being put out on the market.