Sacramento Kings Owner: Previous Management Advised Trading DeMarcus Cousins

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIFebruary 17, 2014

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 2: Owner Vivek Ranadive of the Sacramento Kings prior to the game between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors on November 2, 2013 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who bought the franchise from the Maloof brothers in 2013, was reportedly told by previous management to rid the team of DeMarcus Cousins.

In an interview with The Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voisin, Ranadive divulged what he was advised to do in terms of personnel moves after buying the organization for $535 million:

When I bought the team, everybody told me the first thing you should do is get rid of DeMarcus, including the previous management. But I just kept an open mind, and I interacted with the young man. And what I saw was a young man who wanted to win and had experienced nothing but chaos during his time with the Kings. Throughout the season he has proven that he wants to win, and he is maturing. I can’t fault him because he wants to win so much.

Cousins put together an All-Star-caliber first half even though he wasn’t named to the loaded Western Conference All-Star team. The 23-year-old is averaging career highs with 22.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He’s also shooting a career-high 48.3 percent from the field and sports a player efficiency rating of 26.15, which ranks him sixth in the entire NBA behind Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Chris Paul and Anthony Davis.

Even with Boogie having a dominant season, the Kings have a Western Conference-worst 18-35 record (tied with the lowly Los Angeles Lakers). Given how much they’ve struggled with him, one can only wonder how bad Sacramento would be had Ranadive taken the advice to ditch him.

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 3: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings in a game against the Chicago Bulls on February 3, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and
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When asked if anyone within his ownership group had differing opinions of how to mold the franchise, Ranadive said the following, via Voisin: “No, no. We speak with one voice. We want to be like the Spurs, but exciting. It is entertainment. I want the greatest show on earth.”

The Kings admittedly have a long way to go if they hope to emulate the San Antonio Spurs, who have carved a niche as an NBA dynasty by winning four championships since 1999.

While the Spurs rank fifth in the league with a defensive efficiency—points allowed per 100 possessions—of 100.4, Sacramento ranks 27th in that category, surrendering 106.3 points per 100 possessions.

Cousins is still trying to adapt on the defensive end, as he’s been part of the Kings’ problem by posting a defensive rating (team points allowed per 100 possessions with him on the floor) of 105.2, per

Boogie is still a work in progress in terms of defensive efficiency, but he’s arguably the best young center in the league.

Cousins signed a four-year, $62 million max contract extension last year, so it’s safe to say Ranadive and Co. plan to build around the big man for years to come.