Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has seen his name covered as far as NBA trades for most of the season. Cousins, one of the NBA’s best centers if not players, is having his best NBA season to date. The big man is leading the Kings in points and rebounds per game, with averages of 28.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per. The Kings are currently eight in the NBA’s Western Conference playoff battle, in which they post a 15-20 record.
With the recent success for Cousins and the Kings, could the Kings bypass the NBA trade deadline and keep Cousins for the long haul? Hoops Habit’s Gerald Bourguet says that keeping Cousins seems ideal, but the lack of overall success for the Kings since Cousins NBA debut in 2010, plus their lack of adding talent to supplement Cousins may lead to the Kings realizing it’s best to part ways with Cousins. Thus, letting another NBA team better utilize his talents.
“With Cousins now 26 and his contract expiring at the end of the 2017-18 season, the clock is ticking. The Kings are in serious danger of wasting away his entire prime, and though that’s not reason enough for Sacramento to deal him, another lost season without a playoff appearance to show for it could very easily be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“It’d be more likely to see the Kings consider trading him next season, when they’ll be in danger of losing him for nothing in free agency, but Boogie’s trade value has never been higher.”
Another knock on Cousins has been his lack of playoff success, or appearances rather. In Cousins six previous NBA seasons, he has not reached the playoffs once. As a player drafted in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Kings drafted Cousins to be their cornerstone player. Franchise players in the NBA have a lot of weight to carry and not succeeding as a top draft pick will cause eyebrows to be raised around the NBA. Bourguet believes that if Cousins can only lead the Kings to an eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Kings are better off shopping him to another NBA team.
“Boogie is a legitimate stretch-5 superstar who would net Sacramento a king’s ransom (get it?). With their inability to attract major free agents to assemble a contender and their constant failures to put long-term talent around Cousins through the draft, it’s getting close to time for the franchise to commit to the next era of Kings basketball through another full-scale rebuild.
“But they’re as close as they’ve ever been to the playoffs! And? All that means is a first round sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs.”
The Kings have a tricky situation on their hands. On one side of the spectrum, they still possess a once-in-a-decade center who is currently dominating the league. He does have the Kings in playoff contention and with three and a half months until the playoffs start, anything can happen between now and late April. However, on the other side, it’s been six and a half seasons in the NBA and Cousins still doesn’t have a playoff berth. That is still a primary concern for not only Cousins but his NBA prospects.
If the Kings decide to shop Cousins around the NBA, they must shop him to a team that will let him compete for a title contender (not named Golden State). Because they never gave him the adequate talent, Cousins deserves to play for an NBA team that will best utilize his many talents. Cousins may be traded or may not, but if he continues his dominance as of late, we never know what can happen this summer.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]