ESPN’s Chad Ford buried some interesting information in the back end of a draft article last week:
“The Cavs won’t be the only team calling the Kings once they get a new GM in place. Sources say that the Charlotte Bobcats and Dallas Mavericks also will have interest in Cousins if Sacramento’s new management decides to cut ties with Cousins.”
It’s not surprising that the Bobcats are interested in acquiring Sacramento’s mercurial and insanely talented young center. It’s also not the first time we’ve heard this rumor. Fox Sports’ Sam Amico tweeted about Cousins and the Bobcats in late December:
NBA GM wouldn't be specific, but says "if what I hear is true," Kings will have tough time turning down Bobcats' offer for DeMarcus Cousins.—
Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) December 31, 2012
That rumor surfaced a few days after Cousins was given an indefinite suspension for “unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team.” In a move that would have been surprising in any other organization, but not Sacramento, the Kings’ owners reinstated Cousins two days later. Of course, Cousins is also rumored to have caused former coach Paul Westphal’s firing. And let’s not forget his spat with Sean Elliott or the low blow on O.J. Mayo.
Cousins has baggage.
But the suspension and reinstatement underscore why Cousins might flourish elsewhere – Sacramento has been dysfunctional for his entire three year career. The organization has featured a young roster flooded with ball dominant scorers, two different head coaches, a lame duck GM and unpopular owners who tried to move the team to Seattle and just now sold it to a new ownership group in Sacramento. It’s been a mess. Throw a player with Cousins’ immaturity into that mix and you can see how there would be issues.
If he were to show more maturity and flourish at his next stop, he wouldn’t be the first player to do that. Think about all that Rasheed Wallace and Zach Randolph were able to accomplish after leaving Portland and finding more stable situations in Detroit and Memphis, respectively.
Much like ‘Sheed and Z-Bo, Cousins has talent. The kind of talent you make exceptions for. His size and skill are exceptionally rare in an era where most teams concentrate on the perimeter. He’s productive, too, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds in just his second season in the league. In my opinion, Cousins would be the most talented player to ever wear a Bobcats’ uniform – unless you count Jordan wearing practice gear.
Additionally, new Bobcats’ coach Steve Clifford has experience dealing with talented and difficult big men. He coached Dwight Howard for the past six seasons, in both Los Angeles and Orlando. Could he get the most out of Cousins?
We don’t know. We also don’t know what the Bobcats’ would have to give up. If Sacramento wants this year’s fourth overall pick, I would do it in a heartbeat. If they want this year’s number four and MKG, I probably wouldn’t bite. And I certainly wouldn’t offer next year’s first rounder that could end up being high school phenom Andrew Wiggins.
It’s also worth noting that trade rumors seldom become trades. Otherwise, Rajon Rondo would have played for all 30 teams last season. Oh, and the Kings still haven’t hired a new GM. That might influence their stance on dealing Cousins.
It’s fun to speculate, though.
~Lewis Woodard, WFNZ Sports Radio The Fan 610 AM
Find Lewis on Twitter @LewWoodard