DeMarcus Cousins has been reinstated by the Sacramento Kings following a suspension that ultimately lasted just a single game, the team announced.
Cousins was back with the Kings on Monday and practiced with the team.
The suspension, originally scheduled to last “indefinitely,” was due to Cousins getting into it with Kings head coach Keith Smart during halftime of Friday night’s loss to the Clippers — an argument that reportedly saw Cousins aggressively and profanely pleading his case.
The question now becomes whether or not the action taken by the team will pay any immediate or long-term dividends. Sacramento did get just its second win in its last eight games with Cousins out of the lineup on Sunday, a 108-96 victory over the Blazers.
The Kings will obviously need a more focused and dialed-in Cousins the rest of the way if the winning ways are to continue.
It’s worth wondering whether the team will change its long-held stance of not being willing to trade Cousins. But for the offers that roll in to be any higher than twenty cents on the dollar, the player will need to be relatively free of issues and incidents for somewhat of a substantial period of time — something he’s been unwilling or unable to do throughout his NBA career thus far.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.