Sorry Celtics/Knicks/Lakers and other fans dreaming of a DeMarcus Cousins trade to their team, it looks like the dysfunctional marriage between him and the Sacramento Kings is going to continue.
Recently it was reported the Kings planned to offer DeMarcus Cousins the new “designated player” max extension this summer — five years, around $207 million (the exact figure will come when we know the cap number).
CSN California has confirmed through a league source that the two sides have tossed around numbers and that barring a late change in direction by either side, Cousins intends to sign a massive, max-money extension, estimated at roughly $207 million during the offseason that will keep the big man in a Kings uniform long-term.
The two-time All-Star center signed a four-year max money deal in September of 2013 that takes him through the 2017-18 season. Under the new CBA, Cousins is in line for the league’s designated player exception, which allows Sacramento to give their franchise cornerstone an additional five-years on top of his current deal, keeping him in a Kings uniform 2022-23 season.
Cousins qualifies for the designated player contract already because he made an All-NBA team the past two seasons. The two sides could not consummate the deal until July 1.
This is exactly why the owners wanted the designated player exception — to allow a small-to-middle market team to hang onto its star player. If the Kings traded Cousins it would mean a complete rebuild, and there’s far from any guarantee they could land a player who would develop to be as good.
Is Cousins frustrated with Kings management? No doubt. And he should be, they’ve had a revolving door of coaches and systems as long as he’s been there. But this new contract gives him more than 35 million reasons to stick around (plus he genuinely does like Sacramento the city). The Kings can offer at least $5 million a season more than any other team (Cousins can get 35 percent of the salary cap, not just 30 percent, plus a guaranteed fifth season). Even accounting for Cousins signing a max-contract fifth year with another team, the Kings offer is going to be more than $35 million more than any other team can offer over the life of the deal.
Cousins isn’t leaving that cash on the table. He is staying put in Sacramento.