The Sacramento Kings are currently in the midst of their best season since 2006. They have spent the past decade drafting bust after bust, with few bright spots in between. While Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins were each very exciting young players, the front office gave them Marcus Thornton and Rudy Gay to play alongside respectively.
With Evans and Cousins, Sacramento was a wasteland; players came to Sacramento either against their will or to rejuvenate their career that had fallen apart. Finally, over thirteen years later, the Kings have a core with legitimate potential. The combination of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley alone could be extremely appealing to other relatively young free agents this offseason.
Not to mention their ability to offer a max contract this offseason, the Kings are in the perfect situation to acquire that big free agent to push them over the edge this summer. According to hoopshype.com, the top players who will become free agents this summer are Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Demarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Niko… Wait; did I say Demarcus Cousins?
Yes. The man who made three straight all-star games playing for below average teams has been bouncing around the past couple of seasons due to some injury concerns. Having seen his dominance return this season in limited minutes with Golden State, I think it’s safe to say Demarcus Cousins is BACK!
If Demarcus Cousins is truly back, why would the team that went behind his back to trade him in the midst of a playoff run be on his short list of teams? While I would love to talk about how much he loved Sacramento or about how he’d be willing to forgive Vlade Divac, the simple answer is entirely financial.
Sure. I could give you plenty of quotes about how Demarcus Cousins loved his time in Sacramento. I could go in depth with the fit of our young backcourt next to one of the best centers the league has ever seen. I could even talk about the fact that our biggest weakness is our lack of a large inside presence and that dominant centers like Karl-Anthony Towns and Montrezl Harrell (a very dominant center when in Sacramento) continue to dominate the Kings.
Instead, I’ll tell you why the offer of a short term contract worth just under the max could be perfect for the Kings and practically impossible for Cousins to turn down.
While there are rumors the Warriors would be interested in retaining Cousins, they have other issues to worry about first. With Durant and Thompson each entering unrestricted free agency, Cousins will be nothing more than an afterthought for Golden State. It won’t only be the Warriors focused on Durant and Thompson, however. With the Nets, Knicks, Lakers, and Clippers all focused on those top four guys, Cousins won’t be focused on until those teams strike out on the real superstars.
If the Kings prove to Cousins that they have a real interest in him, why wouldn’t he return to a city that he’s only said positive things about? Sacramento isn’t in the market for the real superstars, so settling for a player who is already a fan-favorite (for real Kings’ fans) could be absolutely perfect.