The Kings are losing leverage the longer they hold onto DeMarcus Cousins, contends Shaun Powell of NBA.com. The All-Star center has two seasons left on his current deal, making nearly $17MM for the upcoming season and more than $18MM in 2017/18. Powell believes teams will be less likely to trade for Cousins as his free agency date nears, and Sacramento will have a hard time keeping him if he stays until the end of his contract. The writer isn’t a fan of the Kings’ offseason moves, as they made little effort to re-sign league assist leader Rajon Rondo, drafted two unproven big men, put Rudy Gay on the trading block and signed 30-year-old Arron Afflalo.
There’s more out of the Pacific Division:
- The Kings made a mistake by letting Seth Curry get away, writes A.J. Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today. Even though Curry has only appeared in 48 NBA games, he showed promise at the end of last season, averaging 16.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.3 three-pointers per night over his final seven games. Curry signed a two-year, $6MM deal with the Mavericks in July.
- Devin Booker‘s great rookie season has created a logjam in the Suns‘ backcourt, according to Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight both see themselves as lead guards, and Booker has earned starters’ minutes with his performance in 2015/16. Bledsoe and Knight are signed for the next three seasons and Booker is under team control for the next four years, so Phoenix has time to work out the situation if all three players are willing to share minutes. Otherwise, Feldman suggests it’s a good situation for a trade.
- Things aren’t perfect for the Warriors, even after winning 73 games and signing former MVP Kevin Durant, cautions Monte Poole of CSNBayArea. Coach Steve Kerr is concerned about the defensive dropoff after losing centers Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. Golden State added Zaza Pachulia in free agency to help compensate for their departure. “The thing that’s different will be a lack of rim protection,” Kerr said. “We had great rim protection from Bogut and Ezeli, and both those guys are gone. Zaza’s a very good defender, but he’s more of a positional guy than a shot blocker.”