Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Finally, we arrive at DeMarcus Cousins, a 23-year-old who could be one of the best players in the NBA if his mind is in the right place.
Cousins is a 6'11", 270-pound behemoth who does things that a 6'11", 270-pound behemoth shouldn't be able to do. He runs the floor, makes behind-the-back passes and handles the ball like a guard. He also does things that ballplayers of his size should be able to do well, such as posting up and crashing the glass.
The problem with Cousins is, of course, his maturity (or lack thereof). He has had too many run-ins with the Sacramento Kings organization and has done far too many silly things on the court that have been detrimental to his team. It's time he kicks those bad habits and starts focusing solely on basketball, because it seems like Cousins himself doesn't even realize how good he can be.
This is a guy who can average 25 and 12 if he puts his mind to it. He is that talented. Cousins has the ability to be the best big man in the league. Yes, better than Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol and whomever else you may think of. His raw talent cannot be questioned.
Fortunately, there was a lot to be positive about from his 2012-13 performance. A career 44.8 percent shooter, Cousins shot the ball at a 49.1 percent clip after the All-Star break. He was taking better, smarter shots and wasn't falling too in love with the mid-range jumper. A DeMarcus Cousins that is combining his strength and footwork inside for easy buckets is a player that no one in this league wants to deal with.
The 2013-14 campaign will be Cousins' fourth season, and this may be the best Kings team he has had yet. If he doesn't bust out now, he may never do so. This is the perfect opportunity for Cousins to show the city of Sacramento and everyone else what he is really made of.
Prediction? Cousins is an All-Star, something that has been a long time coming.