According to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, Cousins and agent Dan Fegan are gunning for nothing less: "Cousins is eligible for a contract extension this summer, and Fegan wants a maximum deal for his client with the threat of a trade demand looming if a deal isn't reached."
Jones also reported that Fegan has told his client not to speak to the media regarding this matter—sage advice, given his outspoken nature in past controversies.
With new ownership running the show in Sacramento, the Kings have a chance to carve out a new legacy after falling down a particularly bizarre rabbit hole while controlled by the Maloof family this past decade.
New head coach Michael Malone and new majority owner Vivek Ranadive have publicly embraced Cousins, as reported by Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
Malone was effusive in his praise of Cousins' abilities on the court, saying, "I will go to him with open arms, because we all know, on any given night, he's the most talented big man in the NBA. You just don't get rid of those guys."
Ranadive, for his part, made a statement about Cousins' appeal as a global superstar, saying, "I'd like nothing better than a billion Indians to know who DeMarcus Cousins is."
It's time for Ranadive and the Kings to put their money where their mouths are.
In three years, the big man has averaged 16.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He's a complete player who can dominate on both sides of the court, and at the age of 22, Cousins has yet to fully reach his potential.
He is still a young man with plenty of upside, but what he's shown already in his first three years as a pro is proof enough of his worth.
The Kings need to let Cousins know how much he's wanted by offering him a max-deal extension as soon as possible. According to Hoopsworld.com, the team has plenty of room under the cap to make such a move, owning just over $42 million in guaranteed money in 2013-14.
There's no reason to risk injuring the young man's pride by balking at his agent's reported demands. Sacramento should pay Cousins what he believes he's worth, because Lord knows if the Kings don't, then another team gladly will.
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