DeMarcus Cousins Suspended: Kings Must Move on from Talented Big Man
Things are not working out for DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento, and the Kings need to send him packing before he sinks the 9-18 Kings into further oblivion.
The latest incident with Cousins occurred this past Friday, as Cousins got into a war of words with head coach Keith Smart as the Kings were taking on the Los Angeles Clippers. Cousins was benched and subsequently hit with an indefinite suspension.
That suspension was lifted on Monday, but Cousins won't be returning to game action.
According to the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, Cousins won't be playing as the Kings take on the Trail Blazers in Portland on Wednesday night. In fact, he won't even be making the trip. Jones adds that this was Smart's decision.
The Kings will return home to take on the Knicks on Friday. There was no mention of Cousins' playing status for that game.
At this point, the Kings don't need to be thinking of Cousins' playing status on a day-to-day basis, they need to be thinking of how to rid themselves of this talented yet troubled player.
Cousins has long been followed by questions of attitude issues. This popped up last year when he butted heads with then-coach Paul Westphal. Consequently, Westphal didn't last the season and Smart took over the coaching duties.
If Cousins had any issues with Smart last year, they were not made public knowledge, and he finished the season averaging 18.1 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Numbers like that from a 6'11", 275-pound center typically would draw plenty of attention on the trade market. However, the Kings aren't likely to be as fortunate at the moment.
This season, Cousins' numbers are slightly down, but that is a blip on the radar compared to the latest attitude issues.
Cousins is now having serious problems with his second straight coach to the point where Smart doesn't even want to play him. This is not a situation teams are going to be eager to take on.
The Kings won't be able to find a player available in a trade that has anywhere near the talent or potential of Cousins. However, it would still benefit them to send him packing.
The Kings are trying to climb back to relevancy with a young roster. To do this, they not only have to increase their talent level but also build up the confidence and attitude of the franchise.
They can't afford to have a prominent player like Cousins moping around the court and undermining the coach at every turn.
At this point, the greatest value the Kings would receive by shipping Cousins out is simply by ridding themselves of his presence.
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