A new coach and new owner have taken over the Sacramento Kings, who have been reminded from various sources in recent days that DeMarcus Cousins is the cornerstone of the franchise.
But is he? What about Marcus Thornton?
He may not put up the numbers that Cousins does, but Thornton, in his four NBA seasons, has developed a consistency that coach Michael Malone should relish during his coaching tenure.
Cousins is still too much of a bad boy at times and can be disruptive. Malone may grow tired of that and should make it clear to Cousins that those days need to be gone. If they’re not, then Cousins should be gone. It appears that Kings, realizing the numbers Cousins will put up, are hoping he behaves under Malone.
Thornton will behave regardless because he’s s classier player than Cousins. There’s talk about the Kings drafting either a guard or center at their No. 7 pick, and Thornton’s performance for the Kings should show that a center is probably needed more than a perimeter player.
Thornton played well enough to be considered for a guard spot on the Kings. He saw action in 72 games but only started eight of them and averaged 24 minutes, 12.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He also shot 42.9 percent from the floor, 37.2 percent in 3-pointers and 88.1 percent in free throws.
Cousins is probably the most important player on the team right now, but the Kings can’t forget how valuable Thornton continues to be.