The Sacramento Kings should finally send DeMarcus Cousins on his merry little way. While Cousins has been one of team's top players over the last three years, his polarizing personality has not been good fit for the long-suffering Sacramento franchise.
Cousins and his agent Dan Fegan are expecting to receive a maximum contract extension this summer, but if they don't get one, a trade demand could be coming, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
Jones' report also states that the big man wouldn't comment when was asked about his thoughts on the Kings’ new management because Fegan told him not to.
Owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and head coach Michael Malone all spoke highly of Cousins and how important he is to the franchise in Jones' report, but in no way, shape or form should the new regime give in to the player's demands.
The Kings haven’t made a trip to the postseason since the 2005-06 season and that’s a major problem. Sacramento needs to add as much talent as possible in order to get back to the playoffs, and while dealing Cousins wouldn’t solve that problem, it’s one bullet that the team must bite.
Cousins is a very valuable player who the Kings could get a great return for. He ranked in the top 30 in PER this past season, according to ESPN, and is more than capable of averaging a double-double. But does the center really believe that he is worth a maximum contract extension?
Fegan will try to push Cousins’ skill set and massive upside to the Kings’ management. He did lead the team in several categories on both sides of the ball last season. The former Kentucky Wildcat star can be replaced though, and other players on the team have the potential to step up in his absence.
Tyreke Evans is a restricted free agent, and without Cousins on the payroll, the Kings could certainly match any offer sheet that he signs. The Kings also hold the No. 7 pick in next Thursday’s draft, giving them the opportunity to get a player who can help turn around the franchise.
Some of the players who could be available at No. 7 include Ben McLemore, Trey Burke, C.J. McCollum, Michael Carter-Williams and Alex Len, among others. Any of these collegiate standouts would aid in the rebuilding process.
If the Kings don’t want to spend the money on Cousins, they shouldn’t be afraid to trade him. There are plenty of other organizations that would be interested in a player of his abilities, and they might even be able to secure an offer that gives them several valuable pieces.
If Cousins and Fegan think that they’re going to bully the new management in Sacramento, then they have another thing coming. If the enigmatic center actually demands a trade, the Kings should pull the trigger on a deal as soon as he officially makes the request.