Sacramento Kings: Would DeMarcus Cousins Change For Better With Max Deal?

By Karim Akbar
Kelley L Cox – USA TODAY Sports

Multiple outlets are reporting that discussions and extension talks are well under way when it comes to DeMarcus Cousins. DeMarcus would be a free agent after this season, and this move would keep the mercurial star in purple and gold for what could be the next five years. The max deal is reported to be somewhere in the $80 million range.

When Vivek Ranadive‘s deal to purchase the Sacramento Kings was complete, the first person he called was Cousins. To his credit, DeMarcus has publicly stated he wishes to remain in Sacramento, and many believe a deal will get done before the Kings head to training camp.

GM Pete D’Alessandro is scouting at Eurobasket, but insiders all agree that talks have already begun. This kind of move shows management is staying true to what they said at the initial press conference, where Ranadive stated DeMarcus has a family and that he’s welcome if he wants to be a part of that. Besides, his numbers are just beastly.

I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to Cousins because the big man just makes dumb decisions sometimes. Those dumb decisions have other GMs and coaches labeling the phenom ‘difficult’ and ‘immature’, but his numbers (17 PPG, 9.9 RPG) silence any kind of that talk. He’s a man-child that can be a perennial All-Star.

As early as last season, I said that the Kings should just unload Cousins for young talent — talent that wouldn’t be a detriment and distraction to the team. But the team has done a tremendous job of getting rid of the distractions that hang over the team. Having no lingering contract talk going into the season could change Cousins’ temperament.

New ownership has really stepped in and built a great front office top to bottom. Head coach Michael Malone sprints with Cousins and the team, and that’s going a long way towards keeping Cousins and the rest of the roster involved. And if the deal is completed, Cousins will have 80 million more reasons to smile.

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings writer for Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem , “Like” his RantSports page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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