DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings agree to contract extension
DeMarcus Cousins is getting his extension.
Multiple sources have confirmed with Cowbell Kingdom that the Sacramento Kings have agreed to a new deal with the fourth-year big man. The Sacramento Bee was first to report an agreement between the 23-year-old center and the franchise.
A league source tells CK that Cousins’ new contract is a four-year deal, which begins in the 2014-15 season. Multiple outlets are reporting that Cousins’ new contract is worth an estimated $62-64 million and does not include an early termination option clause. Cousins was eligible for a five-year deal worth as much as $80 million.
Kings ownership has not shied away from voicing its support for the emotional young big man. After taking controlling interest in the team last June, Vivek Ranadivé said that the first phone call he made was to Cousins.
“I’d like nothing better than a billion Indians to know who DeMarcus Cousins is,” Ranadivé said back in June during new coach Michael Malone’s introductory press conference. ”He is, as the coach has said, one of the most talented big men out there. He’s a tremendous athlete and I’ve seen how the coach has worked with other people and I have no doubt that it’s going to be a big plus for DeMarcus.”
Cousins’ extension comes just days before the opening of training camp in Santa Barbara. It also follows Tuesday’s announcement regarding Shaquille O’Neal‘s purchase of a stake in the franchise. As part of his involvement, the former Lakers center will take on a mentoring role with Cousins and offer insight about the game to the 23-year-old center.
“My job with DeMarcus is not going to be about teaching him moves,” O’Neal said. “It’s gonna be about having conversations and we’re gonna build the team around DeMarcus. He needs to understand that when you’re the leader, the others will follow when they see you set the perfect example. So he’s gonna have to play on every play, he’s gonna have to accept that leadership role. That’s the conversation I’m gonna have with him and the conversations have already started.”
Cousins is entering the final season of a four-year rookie deal he signed after the Kings drafted him with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
James Ham also contributed to this report