DeMarcus Cousins has been at the center of trade discussions since … well, forever. At least that’s what it feels like. Now, instead of being on the move it appears the Sacramento Kings star is set to cash in on a big payday that will keep him in Northern California, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Thanks to a stipulation in the upcoming CBA, Cousins can sign for more money as a King, an angle Sacramento is likely to use as they approach this offseason.
The Kings, as you surely know by now, are openly desperate to bring their 10-season playoff drought to a halt. Those who know Sacramento best continue to say that, as long as the West’s No. 8 seed remains within the Kings’ sights, they’ll be increasingly reluctant to part with their All-Star center.
But sources also say that the Kings, at season’s end, want to pitch Cousins on a long-term partnership in the summertime, knowing he’s going to be eligible in July for a Designated Player Extension that could make him one of a handful of $200 million players league wide.
Cousins, 26, is considered one of the best centers in the NBA and he’s been whispered about as a prime trade candidate for a while, mostly due to as concerns his relationship with the team has spoiled over time.
His time has been odd as a member of the Kings. Cousins has never made the playoffs, he’s endured six head coaches in seven seasons, including interim, and he’s mixed stellar, All-Star level play with irrational, emotional outbursts on the court.
Still, his talent is undeniable, and the Designated Player Extension is built for this exact scenario: to keep big stars in smaller markets long-term by throwing a monumental amount of money at them.
If Cousins does sign an extension this summer, let’s hope it works out for all parties.