Pacific Notes: Cousins, Chandler, Walton

The Kings are at a critical point in relation to the direction of the franchise, and the question must be asked if center DeMarcus Cousins is the player the team should be building around, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. Cousins is on his fifth coach since entering the league and Sacramento has yet to eclipse the 30 win mark with the big man as the focal point, which isn’t a glowing endorsement of his ability to be the franchise’s anchor going forward, Amick notes.

Coach George Karl is also questioning the team’s demeanor and the roster’s lack of defensive-minded players, Amick adds. “My thought, and I told the team my thought, is inconsistent intensity, inconsistent focus, inconsistent toughness and mental discipline,” Karl said. “Too many times we’ve come out on this court and we’ve been the quiet team, or the soft team, or the cool team, and not the man team. My feeling is we have too many offensive players. We don’t have enough guts to make stops.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns find themselves in a difficult spot regarding rebuilding the roster, and with approximately $110MM committed to the backcourt duo of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight through 2018/19, the team’s best course of action would be to attempt to deal Tyson Chandler and Markieff Morris in order to clear cap space, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. Phoenix should also consider waiving small forward P.J. Tucker and his  partially guaranteed pact this offseason, which would free up an additional $3.7MM in cap room, Greene adds.
  • Warriors interim coach Luke Walton was the perfect choice for the franchise to fill in for Steve Kerr while he recovers from back surgery, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group writes. Leung cites Walton’s humble demeanor and excellent preparedness as reasons why he was able to find immediate success, though Golden State’s talented roster certainly was a major benefit for the young coach as well.

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