Sacramento Kings: Will This be the Year DeMarcus Cousins Grows Up?

By Ryan Heckman
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings will be depending on their young center DeMarcus Cousins more than ever in 2013. The problem with that scenario is that the former Kentucky standout has yet to show he’s mature enough to handle the pressure of being an NBA player.

Since entering the league, Cousins has been a cancer to the locker room and everything but a team player. Coming out of college, he was regarded as one of the top prospects at the center position for quite some time. In three seasons, he’s failed to live up to the hype.

Cousins has put up some pretty incredible numbers in three years. That hasn’t been the issue. The criticism on this guy has always been something like, ‘If only he realized how good he could be…’

This is the absolute truth. Cousins has the size and talent to be one of the most dominant centers in the league, and dare I say it, the best center in all of basketball. Despite his attitude and maturity issues, Cousins has a career average of 16.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and about a block per game.

His PER last season was 20.21. The only reason it wasn’t even higher is because of his turnover average, coming in right at his career average of 3.0 per game.

This kid is only 22 years old and boasts a 6’11’ frame, weighing 270 pounds. He has so much potential still left untapped, but this season with the absence of Tyreke Evans and the addition of a young and unproven guard like Ben McLemore he will be counted on more than ever. He has to be a force on both sides of the ball, especially offensively.

If Cousins can eliminate his mistakes and focus more on being a leader on and off the court, he is due for his biggest season yet. If he cannot escape the maturity issues, well, we’re in for more of the same guy who just can’t reach his ceiling.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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