Sacramento Kings

Why Nobody Should Believe DeMarcus Cousins Trade Rumors

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 03: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings looks for a foul after being knocked to the floor against the Indiana Pacers during the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterJanuary 2, 2013

Don't let the suspensions fool you—DeMarcus Cousins isn't going anywhere.

The Sacramento Kings won't just auction him off like he's an antique sports car. Cousins' true value hasn't even been determined yet, and it's not time to allow the market to make that decision.

With Cousins' rookie contract expiring in the summer of 2014, Sacramento has a year to let him boost his value as a trade chip. They'll have more options and potentially better ones if they wait, assuming he continues to improve as a nightmare offensive mismatch.

Offers aren't going to get worse over time. We've already seen what he's capable of doing on the floor. His ceiling will never dissolve, which is the most attractive quality about him as a young player—his towering upside.

The Kings aren't exactly in win-now mode. No single trade could make them a contender in the west, so why deal the future when there's little hope for the present?

By holding onto Cousins, the Kings get his offensive services while he simultaneously inflates his stock as a potential trade chip down the road.

Sacramento is in one of those "blow me away" scenarios. The only thing that could justify the Kings trading Cousins now is if someone blows them away with an offer, and that seems unlikely.

It's unlikely because a team that has equivalent value in terms of talent and youth probably isn't looking to give it up in the middle of the season.

A desperate team like the Kings just can't afford to trade such a valuable asset over character issues, especially when they aren't related to crime. It's not like Cousins has a track record of being a serial drunk driver or has a history of assaulting women. He's just an immature whiner with an attitude, that's all.

And the supporting cast and personnel in Sacramento isn't making it any easier.

Putting someone as volatile as Cousins on a roster under the leadership of Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Aaron Brooks is like putting an alcoholic in a room with Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Jose Cuervo. It's a recipe for disaster.

The Kings management has to do a better job of building around Cousins. They screwed up in the 2012 draft by passing over Damian Lillard, and they screwed up in 2011 with Jimmer Fredette.

Cousins has been arguably the Kings' best player over the past two years, and he's naturally getting frustrated with the results and direction of the team. At 21 and 22 years old, you're just not supposed to be the best player on the roster. What he should do is head up to Geoff Petrie's office and give him the old Jerry McGuire pitch. "Help me, help you."

The Kings need to make moves to improve the team, but trading Cousins right now isn't one of them.

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