TrueHoop Network Mock Draft Pick 5: Kings Select DeMarcus Cousins

The 2010 ESPN TrueHoop Network NBA Mock Draft is here and I’m more than glad to represent the Kings with the fifth pick. Each selection will be made available on network sites (links at the bottom of this post), will cover just the first round, and will be made according to prediction, not some blogger preference. Enjoy.

Previous Picks:
Check back hourly for picks until 5 pm today, pick 11 will start at 8 am on Tuesday.

#1 — John Wall, Washington Wizards — Truth About It
#2 — Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ersPhiladunkia
#3 — Derrick Favors, New Jersey Nets
— NetsAreScorching
#4 — Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves — A Wolf Among Wolves

With the fifth pick in the 2010 TrueHoop Network NBA Mock Draft, the Sacramento Kings select DeMarcus Cousins from the University of Kentucky.

SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the east regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2010 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

What do chicks dig? That’s right; they dig the long ball.

You know what this is? Yep, it’s a long ball, also known as a homerun.

The Sacramento Kings win the draft for the second year in a row if DeMarcus Cousins falls to them at the fifth pick. Last year, they ended up with the best rookie in a deep lot by getting Tyreke Evans with the fourth pick despite the fact the team ended up with the worst possible luck they could have had in the lottery. After failing to move up in the lottery once again, they could very well have the best big man in a long while fall to them at the fifth pick.

Maybe DeMarcus Cousins isn’t the best player in the draft and maybe he isn’t the second best player in the draft. But 20-10 guys don’t grow on trees and Cousins potential and demeanor on the court are exactly what the Kings need as they get back out of the cellar and into the respectable contenders wing of the NBA. Cousins is sort of a monster in many ways. He runs hot with his mental game and he finds a way to maul low-post defenders with his power and post presence. This is exactly what the Kings need right now.

Sacramento is probably never going to be a top of the list destination for free agents in this league, no matter how good the team is. It’s just hard to get top players to commit here by their own free will when the market is so small. So the way you have to acquire star players is by drafting intelligently and taking calculated risks when you possess high picks in the draft. This is exactly what the Kings are doing here for the second year in a row. With Tyreke Evans already kicking in the door of stardom, DeMarcus Cousins seems to exist to do the same for this team in an area closer to the basket. With these two picks over the last three years, you’re now more than halfway towards acquiring three star players to lead a playoff team.

The other part of this selection that I love is after the Kings latest trade with Philadelphia, Sacramento now has a formidable big man rotation. Having Jason Thompson as a featured player in the post seems like a lofty expectation to pile onto a guy. It doesn’t mean he can’t do it. He’s shown flashes of being able to play with the best in the West. But having depth in your frontcourt is a luxury that some teams strive for.

With Sam Dalembert, DeMarcus Cousins, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson the Kings now offer you a lot of different looks on the court. They can go with guys that run the floor well with the Dalembert-Thompson or Dalembert-Landry combos. They can power you inside with grit and toughness by throwing Landry and Cousins out there together. They can get both of their guys to play in the mid and high-post to draw opposing shot-blockers away from the basket with Landry and JT. There’s just a lot you can do.

Star players and roster versatility seem to be the championship formula of today’s NBA. The Kings begin their path back into contention if they are able to grab DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick.

The Golden State Warriors are now on the clock


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