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DeMarcus Cousins may be the most frustrating of all the players on this list. For one, it's not like Cousins has the potential to play at an All-Star level; we've already seen him do it over the course of a season. The 18.1 points, 11 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks he posted as a 21-year-old last season were All-Star worthy.
Still only 22 years old, the sky is seemingly the limit for Cousins, with himself being the only form of gravity that can keep him from soaring to those heights. Come to think of it, maybe that's a bad analogy for Cousins, because he's been anything but grounded during his short career in the NBA.
He had constant run-ins with head coach Paul Westphal as a rookie. Last season, Cousins' second in the NBA, began with more clashes with Westphal. Instead of endorsing the coach, the Kings sided with Cousins and fired Westphal. Interim head coach Keith Smart took over and seemed to have a good rapport with Cousins. His behavior improved to the point where it looked like maybe his troubles were behind him.
But good old Cousins has been back with a vengeance this season. First, it was a postgame altercation with Sean Elliott following a Kings-Spurs game that earned Cousins a two-game suspension. Next, DeMarcus was ejected from a game against the Utah Jazz for arguing with officials. Then, earlier this month, he was suspended again, this time for striking O.J. Mayo in the groin.
His most recent incident occurred during halftime of a game against the Clippers. Cousins and Smart, who he seemingly had such a good relationship with last season, got into an argument, with DMC escalating it to a level that was inappropriate. Cousins was told to stay in the locker room for the second half, and the Kings announced on Dec. 22 that he would be suspended indefinitely, according to The Sacramento Bee.
It's difficult to know what to do with DeMarcus once he returns from his suspension. Do you trade him? If so, it would be difficult to get equal value given his contract, youth and profile. Do you keep him and hope he figures it out? He's only 22 years old so it's realistic to expect him to still be a bit immature. At the same time, he hasn't made any strides yet, so it also may not be realistic for him to start now.
As long as his talent's intact, he'll always have someone willing to give him a chance. However, as long as he doesn't improve his behavior, he'll never become the All-Star he's capable of being.
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