One of the final few unsigned picks from the 2016 draft has a new contract in place, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). Charania reports that the Kings have signed 59th overall selection Isaiah Cousins to a partially guaranteed, one-year contract.
Cousins (no relation to DeMarcus) is a 6’6″ shooting guard out of Oklahoma who became the second-last player selected in this year’s draft. In his final year with the Sooners, Cousins averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 37 contests. The senior also shot 41.1% on three-point attempts and made nearly two of them per game — his shooting percentage was better on three-pointers than on two-pointers for a second consecutive season.
With 14 guaranteed contracts on their books already, the Kings may not have room on their regular-season roster for Cousins. Unless the team waives another player, the 22-year-old rookie would have to beat out both Ty Lawson and Lamar Patterson – along with any other camp invitees – to grab a spot on the 15-man roster.
If Sacramento ultimately cuts Cousins before the regular season begins, the team would retain its D-League rights to him, and could assign him to the Reno Bighorns. However, if another NBA club wanted to sign Cousins to its 15-man roster, the Kings wouldn’t be able to stop that from happening.
With Cousins locked up, there are only two 2016 draftees – Daniel Hamilton of the Thunder and Tyrone Wallace of the Jazz – whose outlooks for 2016/17 remain uncertain. For a team to retain its NBA rights to a second-round pick, it must tender a one-year, minimum-salary contract offer by September 6, so it’s possible Hamilton and Wallace will have their situations resolved soon as well.
While Cousins’ contract will likely be a minimum-salary pact, the Kings still have their $2.898MM room exception available, so they could have offered more than the minimum.