DeMarcus Cousins wants out of Sacramento, and the way we found out yesterday is kind of backwards. Usually a disgruntled player’s agent will tell his favorite reporter that his client desires to play in a new location, then the wheels start turning and eventually a trade is made. Usually this is a last-ditch effort to pacify a very angry player, as these kinds of announcements diminish trade value and make it more uncomfortable for the agent to work with that team in the future with other clients.
Cousins’ agent denies it, but according to a statement from Kings coach Paul Westphal:
DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight.
This is an absolute mess, especially so early in the season. It’s stuff like this that led me to write that the Sacramento Kings need a (premium cable) reality show a few weeks ago. With Cousins, Jimmer and all the rest of the chuckers on that team, it’d be must-DVR TV.
Since the Warriors are never a very good team, and don’t appear to be quite as good as they looked in games two and three after subsequent losses to the Sixers and Suns, any and all options for getting out of .420 winning percentage purgatory must be explored. With Cousins, a mercurial yet highly talented PF/C perhaps available, should the Warriors try to pry him away from their I-80 rivals?
Okay, “rivals” is a stretch, but the answer is N-O. Here are the five reasons promised in the headline:
1. Before the draft, Cousins wanted nothing to do with the Warriors. Yep, he’d rather play in Sacramento than Oakland, which means he’s either very sensitive to real estate prices for a guy who was looking at a multimillion contract or … wait, why am I trying to analyze WHY Cousins does anything he does?
From Tim Kawakami back in June, 2010:
Warning, specific to the Warriors: Cousins has apparently let it be known he doesn’t want to come here, along with a few other places, and has declined invitations for a private workout in Oakland.
2. Cousins is an absolute turnover machine. Last year he gave the ball away to opponents 5.6 times per 48 minutes, the most of any player who played over 10 mpg and/or 38 games. Yes, even ahead of Russell “I have no idea what I’m doing half the time but I’m going to jump in the air and hope it looks cool” Westbrook. The Warriors committed the 2nd-most turnovers in the league last season (16.1 tpg), with Monta Ellis (3.2) and Stephen Curry (3.1) finishing 12th and 15th (Cousins finished 9th with 3.3 tpg). The Warriors don’t need any more “help” in this area.
3. Cousins has a reputation that we’re all aware of, but he’s also hindered by the fact that Paul Westphal is a middle-aged egomaniac with a 51-118 record in Sacramento. Mark Jackson’s a pretty authoritative figure whose NBA resume as a player carries weight in a locker room. However, he’s been a head coach for about a month, and I’m not sure any coaches could keep Cousins in line besides Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and maybe Gregg Popovich and/or Jerry Sloan. Taking on Cousins, who presumably wouldn’t be all that stoked to get traded 90 miles away, isn’t a fair challenge to put on Jackson this early in his lockout-stunted learning period.
4. Cousins doesn’t just need a strong coach with gravitas; he also must be surrounded by veteran players who won’t put up with his bullshit. The only Warrior Cousins would possibly listen to: Monta Ellis. Not to say that the player who (1) said he couldn’t play with Stephen Curry, (2) only talks to the media if he performs well and (3) has a sexual harassment suit pending that was recently filed by a former employee isn’t a good role model … wait, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
5. While the Kings could trade Cousins for Dorell Wright, Brandon Rush or Ekpe Udoh, Stephen Curry’s the only player on the Warriors that the penny-pinching Kings would be interested in — and the Warriors would never make that deal.