The Sacramento Kings are open to trading DeMarcus Cousins. For years, the Kings have resisted the urge to ship their brooding, coach-killing star out of town, but they are finally considering the move. From the Sacramento Bee:
A year ago, Cousins was untouchable. A year later, the sense within the organization is Divac is tempted by the prospect of pairing his center with his personally selected coach but that he has become increasingly frustrated by his center’s ongoing issues and, for the first time, is willing to test the market for the two-time All-Star.
Karl has plenty of company. The disconnect between Karl and Divac, and Karl and Cousins, is rivaled closely by the discord within the fragmented locker room. Apart from Rondo, Cousins has few friends among his teammates. Several players privately have complained to management about his mood swings and disrespect for those around him, including his coaches and in particular Karl.
Rondo, 29, had a thrilling resurgence this season, averaging 11.9 points, 11.7 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals a game – numbers on par with his All-Star seasons in Boston. Having said that, we saw what happened to Rondo in Dallas and his excellent play this season didn’t translate to wins. Plus, for every dunk that turned back the clock, there was an extracurricular moment that left people shaking their heads.
The Kings have averaged 27.3 wins a season in the DeMarcus Cousins era. This season was their first with a win total above the 20’s and that was only 33-49. Good enough for a 10th place finish in the Western Conference.
Not that anyone should be excited. That was still 7 games out of the 9th spot and the Nuggets and Timberwolves could jump Sacramento next season by simply being a year older. Sure, there are a few playoff teams who could plummet next season as they consider rebuilding, but the Jazz are already ahead of the Kings. Plus, there’s the whole Anthony Davis thing in New Orleans. The Pelicans went from 45 to 30 wins this season and they’re just as likely to contend for a playoff spot again as they are wind up in the 2017 lottery. And even if Luke Walton’s Lakers are still a year away from the playoffs no matter who they pick or pick up this summer, they’re going to be better than this year.
We’ve seen what the Kings could do with DeMarcus Cousins as their centerpiece and it doesn’t work. It’s never been close to working. And it’s not going to work. There’s too much baggage there for it to ever work.
The Kings should trade Boogie and happily take 50-cents-or-less-on the dollar for him. If the other option is letting him poison the locker room until his contract finally, mercifully expires, why not try something – anything, really – different. All he’s going to do is continue to alienate teammates and coaches. Who cares if he gets along with fellow problem
child adult Rajon Rondo?
Hell, the Kings should drop everybody right now and beg the NBA to let them start over like an expansion team. Right now, there’s nothing to build on or rebuild from. The only answer is a total purge, and that starts with Boogie Cousins.