Picture this for a moment: you are the owner of a once-successful, west-coast NBA franchise.
You have control over a team that is struggling early on this season and has not finished above the .500 mark since the 2005-06 season. However, the upside is that the team has many pieces in place for what could be a bright future.
You have drafted satisfactorily, having picked up who you think may one day be your franchise players. One of these key players won the Rookie of the Year Award and has all but sputtered to a player hardly recognizable as the same one who entered the league just a short three seasons ago.
The other, the most highly-touted and scrutinized player on your team, is a monster 6-11, 270-pound big man with boundless potential and the skill set to be as dominate as any post-player in the league. Unfortunately, he has shown that his maturity level rivals that of a middle-school, adolescent boy.
You are dealing with 22 year-old DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, and you must decide what your next move will be with his and your franchise’s future.
So the multi-million dollar question is: Given control of this team, would it make more sense to trade him and see what you could get in return, or keep him and hope he rounds into the player you believe he can be? My answer is to keep him and I will tell you why.
In my honest opinion, the future of the Kings organization lives and dies by “Boogie” Cousins. Post-players with his agility and knack for scoring around the basket are very hard to come by, especially in a league that is transitioning into a phase where the center position is being manned by smaller, stretch power forwards instead of the traditional grind-it-out centers of old.
Cousins’ play dictates the team’s success and his contributions in each game are sizable. Anyone who has watched him recently would know that he is giving more consistent effort and seems to understand the game a lot better now than when he entered the league.
For the most part, he has progressed according to plan. Without him, the Kings would more than likely be winless this season and have no prospects for a better future. Cousins is the only player on the roster that is worthy of having a franchise built around him.
He is averaging a notable 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds a night and is still growing into a more complete all-around player. After all, this will be only his third full NBA season. But for someone who all but averages a nightly double-double, the only performances Cousins is known for are his on-and-off court antics as well as his childish requests.
The announcement came on Jan. 1 of this year from the Kings organization that Cousins had requested a trade and would be sitting out of their games until further notice. They decided to bench him on the principle that if he did not want to be there, they did not want him there either. This came as somewhat of a surprise, even though things did not seem to be going smoothly for both sides.
All reports said that Cousins, the existing management and the coaching staff were seemingly at odds about how the team was being handled. He was simply not pleased, and therefore requested that the team look to trade him.
However, a couple of days after these reports had surfaced, Cousins came out with a statement stating that he never approached the Kings front office about a trade and that he wanted to prove he could help the team become a winning franchise again.
While he in no way is or was a hometown favorite in Sacramento, you have to feel for the guy. People decided to start spewing venom that would paint an ugly picture of him forgetting that he was a young man just trying to find his way in the NBA.
Everyone who was pulling for him to succeed had forgotten why they brought him to the organization in the first place. Losing sight of the player he could one day develop into almost cost them their franchise player for the next 7-10 years.
The Kings would never have been able to live down their decision to move him. There is no doubting his skills and his potential for much, much more production.
So, keeping all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the other half of this discussion: if Cousins were to be dealt this season, what would be his worth on the trade market? What kind of a return could the Kings expect to be offered by other teams solely for Cousins’ services?
Based on recent history, to acquire a big man with his specific skill set, the Kings could expect a few different types of offers:
If they were looking to save money and shed poor contracts, they could take on expiring contracts and possible throw in a player or two they wanted to get rid of as to sweeten the deal for themselves financially.
If they were looking to get younger — which does not really apply because Cousins is only 22-years-old — and has yet to reach his prime but still is worth exploring as an option, they could look for an offer with substantial early first-round draft-picks and some established veteran players to help mentor their young, volatile backcourt.
The offer would be one where the Kings would expect to get talent equal to that of Cousins in return. This type of trade would be a blockbuster and would likely bring an All-Star level player to the Kings in exchange for Cousins.
If Cousins was put on the trading block sooner rather than later, he would undoubtedly seek as close to a maximum contract as any team in the league would be willing to offer him when his rookie contract expires. I would be more than willing to bet that multiple teams would be lined up ready to offer that to him if the Kings chose not to.
Some potential suitors, if that happened, would be the Philadelphia 76ers, seeing that their trade for Andrew Bynum may be worthless; the Dallas Mavericks, who are still searching for a replacement for the sorely missed Tyson Chandler; the Cleveland Cavaliers, who may be looking for an upgrade from Anderson Varejao (and also a younger option); or the Charlotte Bobcats, who have the funds available and are in dire need of a franchise player like Cousins.
Cousins is a player that is all too often thrown to the backburner when discussions of the young talent in the NBA arise. If he were on a better team and was surrounded by any semblance of talent, he could very well be a premier player already.
For this reason, and the fact that he is technically ahead of his learning curve at such a young age, I would keep him on my team 10-out-of-10 times. He epitomizes a player who has not come close to reaching his ceiling yet.
I greatly look forward to the time when the Kings find a way to surround him with good leaders, veteran talent and players who want to win as badly as he does.
Original article: Should the Kings Trade DeMarcus Cousins?©2012 FootBasket. All Rights Reserved.The post Should the Kings Trade DeMarcus Cousins? appeared first on FootBasket.