Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, commonly known as Boogie, is currently having the season many envisioned he could have. Cousins is currently averaging 28.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game this season. According to Bleacher Report, only Bob McAdoo and David Robinson have put up a better stat line for an entire season in the history of the NBA. While Cousins is shooting a sub-par 45.5 percent from the floor, he’s connected on a career high 37 percent of his three point attempts. As a center in a league that values stretch four and five players, Cousins’ improved shooting touch makes him a valuable player to the Kings. But there’s a question that begs to be answered; why do the Kings insist on trading Cousins sooner, if not later?
The lack of production in terms of wins, and not leading the Kings to any postseason trips have been the primary source of reason. Cousins, although putting up stellar numbers, has not been the franchise saver the Kings envisioned him to be when he was drafted fifth overall in 2010. Cousins has also averaged 20-plus points per game for the past four seasons, but he has not cracked the 50 percent mark yet in his career, which is at least a benchmark for centers. Bleacher Report implies that the Kings’ primary reason for pushing to eventually trade Cousins is to start fresh, but will keep Cousins if he can push the Kings toward a playoff spot.
“A frequent guest in this space, Cousins is averaging 28.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game in 2016-17.
“The list of players who have hit all of those averages for an entire season? It isn’t long:
“So why would the Kings entertain the possibility of moving one of the most productive players in the NBA? Put simply, they’ve never won with him.
“Sacramento’s in the seventh year of the Boogie era, and 33 wins are the most the franchise has mustered during a season in that span.
“Starting fresh makes sense, and Cousins would command about as solid a haul for a rebuild as anyone else on the market.
“Just don’t expect anything to come to fruition until closer to the deadline.”
“The last time I talked to people about (DeMarcus Cousins), which was last week, what I was being told is that the Kings want to keep him into the trade deadline or close to the trade deadline and see where they are as a team,” Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard said on the Basketball Insiders Podcast, via HoopsHype. “If they are competing and in the playoff hunt, what I’m told is they would like to keep him.”
If Cousins’ saving grace is the playoffs, then he isn’t far away (three games behind the Portland Trailblazers for the eighth spot) but in a familiar spot; on a Kings team with a losing record. The Kings have tried to build around Cousins in the past, adding Rudy Gay a few years ago, and attempting to have Rajon Rondo become their floor general. Gay will perhaps never be the star player many pegged him to be, attaining the reputation for being a career All-Star snub. The Rondo experiment lasted one season, with the unique point guard not living up to the expectations he aspired for himself (earning a $100 million-plus max contract with his play).
So Cousins, whose fellow roster mates consist of the likes of Ty Lawson, Matt Barnes, and Darren Collison, will have to make do with what he has. If not, a trade is likely to happen to Cousins sooner than later. With the way Cousins’ career trajectory has gone, it shouldn’t surprise the casual NBA fan if a trade is executed by the Kings eventually.
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]