NBA rumors are swirling that the Sacramento Kings are hedging their bets that DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins won’t be with the rebuilding franchise in the near future.
That much seems clear, as Sacramento — a team already top-heavy with centers Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins — added two more bigs through a pair of draft-day trades for the Kings to acquire first-round selections Georgios Papagiannis (No. 13) and Skal Labissiere (No. 28).
After the rumors of a draft-day trade for Sacramento came to fruition, Boogie took to his Twitter account to let the Kings know about his displeasure.
According to ESPN, the Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac explained his team’s motives behind the moves. Divac did not expand on what role DeMarcus Cousins would play going forward for the Kings.
“We had our guys at the No. 8, but obviously they were picked before. So we made a decision to go down and turn that pick into three more and build our team for the future.”
Labissiere — who like current Sacramento teammates DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Ranjo Rondo, played college ball at the University of Kentucky — was a steal for the Kings at No. 28, Divac later told reporters. Skal enters the league ready to prove he has what it takes to play in the NBA alongside Boogie Cousins, Labissiere told ESPN.
“I’m very skilled, and I’m ready to show that. I can do a lot of different things, put the ball on the floor. I can score many different ways offensively. I can pass the ball. On defense, I can guard smaller guys on the perimeter, and I run the floor really well and block shots.”
In Papagiannis, the Sacramento Kings picked up a 7-foot-1 center who played in 21 games last season in the Greek league. For his team, Papagiannis averaged 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Despite his limited production, Divac sees a future star in the making that could benefit from watching DeMarcus Cousins while he adjusts to the American style of play.
“He has everything. He’s just young. He has to learn maybe a style of basketball. He has lot of talent. I’m very happy. He’s somebody who down the road can be probably an All-Star player.”
While Boogie might have panned the Sacramento Kings for their actions during the 2016 NBA Draft, at least one future Sacramento teammate was full of praise for DeMarcus Cousins. Greek born Georgios Papagiannis was complimentary of DeMarcus Cousins, crediting the athlete with having a strong offensive skill set.
“[DeMarcus Cousins] has a lot of skill moves in the post. Tough, tough guy to play against. I love his character. He’s mean for the game. He’s hungry.”
The move isn’t the first time that DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings have been at odds over the NBA franchise’s choices. Boogie also was at odds with his former coach George Karl, including a mocking incident near the end of Karl’s tenure over his choice of words about Seth Curry.
The Phoenix Suns were involved in a number of draft-day trade rumors leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft. Rumors had indicated the Suns were willing to trade down to get Marquese Chriss or to trade their No. 4 pick for a proven young veteran like Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor, according to The Inquisitr.
In addition to Papagiannis and Labissiere, Sacramento also obtained the rights to guards Bogdan Bogdanovic and Malachi Richardson. The Kings obtained their picks from the Charlotte Hornets and the Phoenix Suns by trading away guard Marco Belinelli and the rights to Marquese Chriss (No. 8), respectively.
DeMarcus Cousins had a banner year during the 2015-2016 season. In his sixth season with the Sacramento Kings, Boogie averaged a double-double with 11.5 rebounds and a career-best 26.9 points per game.
Do you think DeMarcus Cousins is expendable after the Sacramento Kings obtained the rights to two big men in draft-day trades? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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