DeMarcus Cousins has the potential to become one of the best centers in the NBA. With the addition of Thomas Robinson and the re-signing of Jason Thompson, the Sacramento Kings have assembled potentially an overpowering frontcourt.
The Kings were ready to trade their fifth pick in the 2012 NBA draft until Robinson fell to them.
Robinson is the only player the Kings would have picked. Having size is a huge advantage in today's NBA game. Not only do the Kings possess size, but their bigs are very athletic.
Where most big men these days struggle to walk and chew gum at the same time, all three of the Kings' big men are proficient with the ball in their hands. But what makes the trio the most dangerous is their rebounding. Cousins and Thompson teamed up to average 17.9 rebounds per game in 2011-12.
Rebounding will be the Kings' biggest strength this upcoming season.
If the Kings play smart on offense, which means playing to their strength in the low post and not running a no-man's offense, this team could make a playoff push in 2012-13. The Kings may not have the size of the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Kings' bigs are more athletic and won't be defensive liabilities against the more athletic teams in the league. Cousins and Robinson are both quality ball-handlers who can bring the ball up the court if needed.
Cousins, Thompson and Robinson will grab the core of the minutes, but they aren't the only reliable big men on the Kings roster.
Chuck Hayes, an undersized forward/center, can give the Kings solid minutes off the bench. Hayes wasn't in great shape last season. Since playing time won't be a given for Hayes, he should come to training camp ready to compete and prove his worth.
The other big on the Kings roster is James Johnson, who the Kings recently acquired in a trade from the Toronto Raptors. Johnson plays small forward but is capable of going down in the low post as well. He will give the Kings height when he's on the floor and is capable of grabbing rebounds at a consistent rate.
There are two flaws that could stand in the Kings' way to becoming a dominating low post in 2012-13.
One is foul trouble.
Cousins has been a foul-prone player at times throughout his two-year career. When Cousins gets in foul trouble early, he struggles to get his game going. If Cousins is ineffective, it messes up a lot of the stuff the Kings try to do. When Cousins is dominating in the paint, it opens up the outside for shooters like Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton.
The second issue could be the Kings' maturity.
Cousins’ biggest weakness is himself. He's an emotional player and at times lets his emotions get the best of him. If Cousins is going to be the leader of Kings, he needs to get his emotions in check and be a professional at all times. He's demonstrated he's capable, but he still reverts back to his old ways from time to time.
Robinson will also go through his own fair share of rookie growing pains.
The post is a rough place in the NBA, and it will take time for Robinson to adjust his game to the next level. Thompson will likely be the starting power forward at the beginning of the season, unless Robinson comes into training camp as a man possessed. Thompson is a solid forward and will take a lot of pressure off Robinson early on.
If you take a look around the league, you'll be hard-pressed to find a team with a better collection of talented, young post players. The Kings haven't necessarily been known for developing players as of late, but this collection of low-post talent could be a difference maker.
Good luck trying to grab rebounds on the Kings this upcoming season. The Kings sure are setting themselves up for an interesting 2012-13 season.