MONDAY, 11:06am: The Kings have officially signed Cousins to a long-term extension, the team announced today in a press release.
FRIDAY, 12:06am: The Kings and DeMarcus Cousins have reached an agreement in principle on a new long-term deal for the big man, reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. According to Jones, Cousins will sign a four-year extension with Sacramento worth the maximum salary. The new deal will keep the former fifth overall pick under contract through 2017/18.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter) pegs the total value of Cousins' new contract at about $62MM, though the exact amount won't be known until next July when the 2014/15 cap figures and maximum salaries are set. Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter) that the pact won't include an option on the fourth year, while Jones tweets that it was Cousins' preference to do four years rather than five.
By agreeing to a four-year extension with Cousins, rather than a five-year deal, the Kings will hold on to their designated player tag to potentially use on another player down the road. There are no real candidates at this point to become Sacramento's designated player, though perhaps if Ben McLemore's development goes as planned, the team will consider going to five years for him when he becomes extension-eligible.
Cousins, 23, is coming off a season in which ne nearly averaged a double-double, with 17.1 PPG and 9.9 RPG, to go along with a 20.2 PER. We had heard earlier in the week that he and the team were nearing an extension, with the potential for a deal to be finalized before camp got underway. With an agreement in place, it looks like the Kings will be in position to finalize and announce Cousins' new contract before the club plays its first preseason game.
Cousins' new contract will make him the fourth player this offseason to sign a rookie-scale extension, including the third to sign a max deal. John Wall and Paul George both agreed to five-year max extensions with their respective clubs, while Larry Sanders inked a four-year contract worth $44MM. As I noted when I examined extension-eligible players yesterday, plenty of situations are still up in the air, including Eric Bledsoe, Derrick Favors, and Gordon Hayward.