“Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins is on course to see his contract extended before the Oct. 31 extension deadline for 2010 first-round picks, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.”
The 23-year old center out of Kentucky is hoping for a max extension that will pay him upwards of $80 million over five years. Cousins is looking for a similar to what close friend and former college teammate John Wall received this summer from the Washington Wizards.
If a contract with the Kings cannot be worked out by the Oct. 31 deadline, the Kings will have to wait until next summer to negotiate with Cousins, when he will be a restricted free agent.
Cousins has had his share of issues over his first three seasons with the Kings, but the new ownership group has been very open about their intent to keep the talented big man. There is hope around the franchise that a new management team and coaching staff will help change the culture and better support Cousins.
Head coach Michael Malone has added a fleet of assistant coaches to his staff, including former Kings player Corliss Williamson, who has been working with the teams big men.
Sacramento announced today that Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team’s ownership group. Earlier this summer O’Neal was open to the chance of working with Cousins as a mentor. It now appears that Shaq has a stake in the development of the Kings most talented player.
According to Stein, general manager Pete D’Alessandro has been overseas scouting and returns to Sacramento early this week to continue negotiations with Cousins’ agent Dan Fegan. With training camp a week away, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a resolution sooner, rather than later.
Cousins worked out with Team USA this summer and hopes to land a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. He has been in Sacramento for more than a week working out with coaches and teammates as part of a voluntary workout program for the team.