Brandon posed a question to me several weeks ago. You are put in charge of the Sacrament Kings, what is the first thing you do, putting aside the whole move to Seattle fiasco? Well, the first thing I do is acquire a Neuralyzer and erase the memories of both Maloof Brothers.
That might be a difficult task, so while I tried to hunt down Tommy Lee Jones, I'd turn my attention to the roster. Imagine taking over this situation. You have a former rookie of the year shooting guard (I'm glad everyone has finally realized Tyreke Evans isn't a PG). You've just traded away the #5 pick from the 2012 NBA Draft for reasons unknown. The rest of the roster is full of cast offs, promising but ultimately underwhelming prospects, and Jimmer Fridette.
And then you have Demarcus Cousins. Without question the best player on the roster. He has the talent and skill set to be the best big man in the league. Based on pure skill and athleticism, there are few big men in the league that can match what this kid can do. (Don't believe me? Just watch this...and this...and this...and since you’re watching, this one too just for good measure.)
Consider this, among centers in the league this season Cousins ranks in the top 8 in points, rebounds, double doubles, assists, blocks and steals. And his PER of 20.26 is good for seventh in the NBA among centers. Better than All Stars Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Garnett and Joakim Noah. And oh yeah, did I mention Demarcus Cousins was only 22 years old? The kids got another 15 years left in the league.
So what is the conundrum for the Kings, you might be asking? Sounds like they have one of the best young centers in the league whose ceiling is completely limitless. Well, here is the problem...
Demarcus Cousins is a lunatic.
Not a lunatic in the Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant sense. If he had the competitive drive of either of those guys it would only work to his benefit. Not a lunatic in the Russell Westbrook or Rajon Rondo sense either. If he was just sort of a dick and socially awkward, the Kings could deal with that.
No Demarcus Cousins is a full-fledged head case. In the mold of one Meta World Peace. In just his three seasons in the league he has had 2 verbal altercations with 2 different coaches, gotten one of those coaches fired, been suspended by the team indefinitely TWICE, been suspended by the league for hitting OJ Mayo in the groin, and had a run in with San Antonio Spur announcer Sean Elliot. Sadly these are not all of Cousins' transgressions. But you get the idea.
At some point the Kings are gonna have to make a decision with this kid. Is his talent and potential worth all of the headache he brings to the franchise? It's not every day a team gets the opportunity to mold a young man into the best center in the league. But Cousins may be wearing his welcome out in Sacramento.
So...If I were running the Kings, as difficult as it would be I'd move Demarcus Cousins this offseason while his value is at its highest. Where? I wouldn't care. Whatever team would give me the most value.
Can he be salvaged? Sure he can. It almost certainly won't be with the Kings. Hopefully, with the right franchise, he can maximize his skills and become the kind of lunatic that helps his team rather than hurts it. Right now, he's absolutely a conundrum; both for his front office as well as his opponents.