And-Ones: Cousins, Clifford, Knicks, Covington

We heard yesterday that DeMarcus Cousins has been out for the past two weeks with a case of viral meningitis and could miss another week or two as he recovers. Kings head coach Michael Malone said today that Cousins is out “indefinitely,” reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter). After a 9-5 start, Sacramento has lost four of five without its emerging superstar. Let’s take a look at what else is going around the Association:

  • The Hornets‘ playoff appearance last season automatically triggered a team option for the third year of head coach Steve Clifford‘s contract, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Clifford, hired in May 2013, signed a three-year, $6MM deal with Charlotte that is now officially fully guaranteed through next season.
  • While the disappointing Knicks might not be ready to turn their focus toward the draft, team president Phil Jackson also said that he doesn’t plan to make any in-season moves that might jeopardize the team’s long-term flexibility, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “I’m not going to make movement for movement’s sake,” Jackson said. “There is sometimes addition by subtraction but I don’t see anybody that doesn’t want to be part of this organization, doesn’t want to play with his teammates, doesn’t want to learn… What we have to do is protect our future… If we evaluate a player and see he’s going to be a long-term player who is going to fit in our organization, we’ll do that.”
  • Duke center Jahlil Okafor remains the top prospect in the latest update to Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings, while high school senior Jaylen Brown, a small forward, is No. 1 on Givony’s 2016 mock draft.
  • Robert Covington has quickly worked his way into Brett Brown‘s rotation in Philadelphia, writes Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers added Covington in mid-November and he has averaged 9.5 points in 11 games since arriving in Philly. However, the Tennessee State product has scored 63 points and played significant minutes in Philadelphia’s last three contests, two of which the success-starved Sixers have won.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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