Welcome Aboard… DeMarcus Cousins?
“Hearing Cousins won’t work out in Minnesota. Apparently they have their mind made up on Wes Johnson.”
From everything being mocked about around the internet, the most likely to be drafted in the top three of this draft are John Wall, Evan Turner and Derrick Favors. After that it was supposedly up to the T’Wolves to set the precedent for the Kings.
Now that it appears the Wolves aren’t considering the best big man prospect in the draft and are locked in with Wesley Johnson, that leaves Cousins for the taking at fifth for the Kings. This makes the decision for the Kings a very easy one. If the Kings were left with a hodgepodge of Wesley Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu or whatever defensive big man you want to talk yourself into (Udoh, Whiteside, Aldrich, etc.) then there probably wasn’t going to be a lot for the Kings fans to get excited about. I’m sure Hassan Whiteside and Ekpe Udoh are going to be fantastic defensive big men. One of them might even develop a serviceable post game. But when you compare either of them with Cousins, it’s sort of silly to consider anybody other than the big man from Kentucky (Sorry, not you, Daniel Orton).
Cousins isn’t a no-brainer prospect by any means. His talent is completely legit. He’s a bully inside and I mean that in a good way. He’s bigger and stronger than most players and he has the skill to go with that. He’s a good-enough defender for now and should be a monster on the boards. But his head is going to be the real question.
In previewing him for A Wolf Among Wolves, I said this about him:
“His weaknesses are more mental than anything else. He’s a headcase and a bad apple but not in the conventional sense. He doesn’t really get into off the court problems. During his one year at Kentucky, he was a model citizen when it came to life away from Rupp Arena. However, when he was on the court and more importantly walking towards the sidelines, you could routinely see him disagreeing and arguing with his head coach in a way not representative of a gentleman.
I don’t want to say it’s a sense of entitlement with Cousins because that doesn’t seem to be the issue. I think he’s a very strong-willed individual who can butt heads with other strong-willed individuals. Put him in a program with a more easy-going head coach and you’d probably never know that Cousins was considered somewhat of a problem child. Sure, he’d throw the occasional elbow to an opponent’s head and he’d probably get a technical foul for screaming at the referee. But overall, you wouldn’t see him screaming at his coach to go intercourse himself.”
The question now is if these reports are all true and Cousins falls as a Tyreke Evans-esque gift to the Kings, how does Paul Westphal deal with him? Can he deal with him in the same way he dealt with the moody Spencer Hawes this year? Will he give him a ton of leeway on the court like he did with Tyreke? Does this mean that Hawes or Thompson are as good as trade bait this summer?
Cousins presents as many questions as he does solutions but he could also end up being the best player in this draft class if he matures into a guy that tries to do his talking with his play. If the millions of dollars don’t get to him and he never develops that sense of entitlement, the Kings win the draft for the second straight year.