The Sacramento Kings managed to get the hard part out the way. Per reports, the Kings and DeMarcus Cousins have agreed on an extension that will pay Cousins over $207M.
That’s a ton of cash for a player that has not led his team to the playoffs since arriving in 2010. But, these are the times we’re in now and Cousins, talent-wise is a face of a franchise-type talent. It’s the other issues that will draw a smirk from critics when discussing the new deal.
If the Kings can deal with the often abrasive behavior then this was a smart move. Granted, players like Cousins are as rare as a Dwight Howard made free throw but the Kings must now find the necessary talent to build around him.
Despite many roadblocks, this season the Kings are right in the playoff chase. With the NBA Trade Deadline approaching and Rudy Gay stating in the offseason that he will not resign, the Kings must now find a capable second scorer to take pressure off Boogie. Gay may not be an All-Star star but his 18 points per game are solid enough to keep defenses from collapsing on Cousins on a nightly basis.
If the Kings can move Gay for a player like Allen Crabbe of the Portland Trail Blazers then the team won’t miss a beat. But, that’s just the beginning of the search.
Kosta Koufos has to prove to the Kings that he can be trusted nightly as Cousins post mate, if not then he should be benched in favor of Willie Cauley-Stein or put on the trade block as well. Omri Casspi is still an option to play the 4 if the Kings wish to go with a smaller starting unit. The PG position is solid with Darren Collison and Ty Lawson but it’s the SG position that must be addressed.
This is where the Gay trade can really shape the future of the Kings. Draft picks are good but if the Kings are shooting for the playoffs this season then next year should be dealt with then. The Gay for Crabbe deal works if the Kings would like to put Casspi at SF and Crabbe at SG.
I admit, I had my doubts about Cousins staying but now he and the Kings must produce. Winning cures all headaches but if the Kings make the wrong move with Gay, that huge contact could blow up in their face.