The Charlotte Bobcats have nowhere to go but up. In the 2012-2013 NBA season they finished the year with the second worst record in the league at 21-61 and that was just one year removed from the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season where they finished at 7-59, bad enough for the worst winning percentage for a single season in the history of the NBA. To say they leave something to be desired would be too kind.
However, it does seem like the Bobcats have been making some sort of progress. They have a new head coach in Steve Clifford that is now in place, who is arguably the most qualified candidate that they’ve had in a long while. They also have made decent selections in the past two drafts by landing Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, both of whom have solid potential.
Despite those successes though, this team is still a long way from being a successful basketball team at the professional level. However, they may have an opportunity to do something about it. Recent reports from around the league have said that the Bobcats are interested in potentially trading for Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins just finished his third season with the Kings and in the league. For the season, he played in 75 games and played 30.5 minutes per game. On the year, he averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game on 46.5 percent shooting. There’s no real questioning that he was the best player for Sacramento.
The issue with Cousins has always been his on-court behavior. He has often been described as immature, too reactive and overly emotional. He garnered 17 technical fouls this past season, including four ejections, and also accrued three flagrant fouls. He also earned a two-game suspension for confronting a television analyst after a game because of some negative comments the analyst had made about Cousins during the game.
Cousins’ behavior is one of the biggest reasons why the Kings would possibly be willing to trade him. He’s essentially been allowed to run amuck with Sacramento and the new ownership group is looking to change the culture of the Kings. That seems like a pretty good sign that Cousins could be moved this offseason.
Most people who consider Cousins coming to the Bobcats bring up the fact that the Bobcats would essentially be just like the Kings for the big man. After all, they’re a franchise in the basement of the NBA and a team that Cousins could, supposedly, be allowed to essentially control. However, that may not exactly be the case.
With Clifford coming into coach the Bobcats, there is obviously going to be a different type of culture coming in. Clifford is a guy who has coached under Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Van Gundy, two guys that know how to control their teams. It’s highly doubtful that Clifford would allow Cousins to continue with his antics. Cousins would also finally be playing in a system with a capable passer (Walker) and a system with some design, unlike what he dealt with in Sacramento.
There’s obviously a chance that Cousins could stay with the Kings or get traded elsewhere. There’s also the risk that it could not work out for the Bobcats if they did acquire him. However, his contract will expire at the end of next season, so it’s not the biggest of gambles in the world. If everything with Clifford and with Cousins were to go smoothly, though, it would be a greatly improved Charlotte team.