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Report: DeMarcus Cousins near contract extension with Kings

Sep 23, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT

DeMarcus Cousins AP

Paul George just about has his. John Wall got his. Larry Sanders got his.

They all got extensions to their rookie contracts, the early extensions out of the 2010 Draft.

DeMarcus Cousins was one other name where we expected a deal — he is potentially the best player in the 2010 draft class but with questions about whether he has the mental game to live up to it. It’s not really a question of money, if the Kings don’t give Cousins a max extension this summer, some other team will next summer when he’s a restricted free agent.

The two sides have been talking for a while and now the Kings and Cousins are close to a deal with years maybe being the sticking point, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Two sources told ESPN.com that Cousins could actually have a deal wrapped up before the Kings open training camp next week in Santa Barbara, Calif.

New Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro, who has been scouting the EuroBasket tournament in Slovenia, is scheduled to return to Sacramento early this week and resume negotiations that sources say are well under way. Cousins is said to be seeking the five-year max deal in the $80 million range that teams can award their designated franchise players, as already seen with Wall in Washington and soon to be repeated this week with George in Indiana.

The two sides have until Oct. 31 to reach a deal (otherwise he becomes a restricted free agent next summer where the Kings can match offers), and they most likely will.

If you wanted more proof, here is what Kings owner Vivek Ranadive told the USA Today.

“I don’t want to say anything premature [about an extension], but I’ve been constant in my support for DeMarcus. I reached out to him when we first closed the deal. He was the first person I reached out to. They’re out there practicing on their own every day and he’s out there leading those practices. He’s out there with the team practicing every single day by themselves. They all came to Sacramento early. I don’t know if that’s ever happened.

There is no doubt Cousins can play, he averaged 17.7 points on 46.5 percent shooting, plus he had 9.9 rebounds a game. When he has been focused on his game he has looked dominant.

Nobody really expects Cousins to become a saint, just not a distraction. Not the guy battling with referees then drawing techincals and ejections, not the guy battling with coaches to the point the team suspends him. The Kings tried the “buddy” system with Keith Smart as coach, now you have Mike Malone who is a little more old school. It could be tough love with the coach and new part owner of the Kings Shaquille O’Neal as the good cop.

None of that matters, it’s on Cousins. It’s like the Buddhist proverb, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Cousins has had mentors around him before, he does now, when he chooses to listen he will hear what he needs to hear.

For the Kings, all the goal, but they have to pay the man. Cousins is a max player they hope lives up to that potential, the only question is if they take the risk on the fifth year (and if they do not, how will that impact Cousins and his psyche).

  1. benjamincharlesparho - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    With all of the contract extensions this early on I bet some of the teams banking on big signings next summer are starting to get a little nervous.

  2. orlandochamps - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Most underrated Center in the league. He should be paid more. 5 year 100mil, at least.

    • spursareold - Sep 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Learn the concept of what a MAX contract is for a 3rd year player.

  3. asimonetti88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    The “Give Him Money and Hope He Doesn’t Turn Into Vin Baker” Tactic

  4. adamsjohn714 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    This guy is vastly overrated. You want a center who plays near the basket instead of jacking up 19 footers he can’t make. The guy is foul prone, turns it over constantly, and will not take a smart shot. His rebounding is fantastic. Unfortunately, he insists on doing all that other awful crap while out on the court.

    • spursareold - Sep 23, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      He’s got a ton of talent, but he thinks he knows everything. He’s a textbook example of AAU ruining a young kid by fawning all over him. If he would just shut up, listen to coaches that know a LOT more about the NBA than he does, and let his game do his talking, people would be buzzing about him. Instead, he argues with coaches, team mates, and refs, and is generally an idiot who wastes at least 30% of his talent by letting other people mentally take him out of his game.

      DeMarcus, I know that Duncan is your idol, but you have zero chance of a career into your late 30s. It’s the Allen Iverson syndrome: You throw your weight around when you’re young, but the minute your athleticism goes, teams drop you like a bad habit. The minute you become more of a pain in the @ss than an asset, you’re gone and your career is over. No one wants you.

    • therainmaker90 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      Why did this comment get dislikes? Adam is completely correct. Cousins is a great rebounder as his numbers suggest but shooting 45 percent from teh floor for a big man? Gimme a break. Maybe if he hit better than 57 % of his shots at the basket and cut down on the mid range and shot range jumpers, his FG% could jump into a respectable 49-52 % range.

    • lowpostfootwork - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      1. He can play inside and make those 19 ft shots
      2. His foul trouble isn’t entirely his own fault. The Kings lacked TEAM defense, and Centers are obligated to protect the rim. 7/10 of personal foul leaders are Centers or PF.
      3. The shot selection in part was based on the coaching strategy.
      4. If ” awful crap” =” technical fouls” then I agree. They are too high, but he also gets represented poorly by the media. Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant had nearly the same amount of technical fouls, but Cousins is the only one to get the bad rep. EXAMPLE: Larry Sanders led the league in ejections, but he isn’t portrayed by the media as a problem, thug, or immature player is he?

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      1. He can’t make those 19 foot jumpers at an efficient, helpful to the offense, clip. (This also limits the number of touches he gets inside, where he’s more effective)
      2. He fouls more than the average center. By a lot.
      3. Proof? Sounds more like conjecture. I doubt very much the coaching strategy is to have poor shooters take long 2 point shots.
      4. “Awful crap” refers to the poor shot selection, fouling, and generally everything except for his rebounding… The techs are bad but they really have a small effect over the course of 82 games, so I don’t really care about them.

  5. nflcrimerankingscom - Sep 23, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    You know, I thought this was the analytics age, where GMs realized Defense is important.

  6. saint1997 - Sep 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    If McLemore and Cousins gel, then with Vasquez at the 1 and their 2014 pick at the 4 (Randle? Gordon?) then they look good for the future

    • jazynaz - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      more like if cousins can gel with himself, he will be able to gel with his teammates, etc.

  7. starvingardens - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    With Shaq coming in… This new contract is gonna be worth it. He’s probably the only person that Cousins would ever even consider listening to seeing that he has multiple rings and plays the same position. Not to mention he was a big butt hole the same way Cousins is right now. He’ll be able to show him how to be Shaq-tacular!

    • imakcds - Sep 25, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Shaq can show DeMarcus how to eat.
      teach him to come in out of shape and take 2/3rds of the season to get in shape.
      He could even teach him how to sunbathe in Florida, as he did for the Celtics.
      Problem with that is Shaq was so dominant when he wanted to be, we put up with him, he’s a Slacker.
      Cousins ain’t got that kind of talent, NOBODY does.

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