The Sacramento Kings have officially made it clear that DeMarcus Cousins is their franchise cornerstone. While the rest of the league is coveting a young, big center, the Kings are relishing their own. Despite all the talk about his attitude problems, Cousins has been free of any major injury that has plagued most centers. Perhaps they think that attitude is easier to cure, and a change of ownership and management might do the trick.
In his last game against the Clippers, Cousins numbers are 36 points, 22 rebounds, 3 blocks.
per Yahoo Sports:
Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro, coach Michael Malone and former NBA player Junior Bridgeman – a friend of new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive – visited center DeMarcus Cousins in his hometown of Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday to let Cousins know they consider him a cornerstone of the franchise’s future.
DeMarcus Cousins can become a restricted free agent after next season. (USA Today Sports)”DeMarcus is a really talented player and we look forward to him being a major part of this team,” D’Alessandro told Yahoo! Sports. “We want him to get better as a player and help him get there. That’s our mission. We love him in this role. I’m sure he’s excited about it.”
The Kings’ meeting with Cousins came one day before the franchise agreed to send free agent Tyreke Evans to the New Orleans Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal. The Kings declined to match the four-year, $44 million offer the Pelicans made to Evans.
As part of the sign-and-trade agreement, Sacramento gets guard Greivis Vasquez from the Pelicans and a second-round pick from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Cousins is eligible for a contract extension with the Kings before the 2013-14 season begins. He will be a restricted free agent after the season if he doesn’t reach agreement on an extension with the Kings.
Cousins is open to signing a long-term deal with the Kings, one source close to him said.
Cousins averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds for the Kings last season. No one doubts his offensive skills, but he’s also had several run-ins with former Kings coaches, teammates, other team personnel and media.
D’Alessandro, who was hired by the Kings on June 16, said he thinks Cousins can have a positive future in Sacramento.
“He’s a remarkable talent,” D’Alessandro said. “He’s a dominant player. There are very few dominant bigs. I look forward to our relationship growing, with myself, the new owners and the coaching staff. We have to support him to get to where he can.”