DeMarcus Cousins has long been a polarizing figure around the league with his copious technical fouls, reported run-ins with coaches and reputation for being a difficult locker room presence. The big man certainly has had his troubles reigning in his emotions during his time in the league, but there is no denying that he is an immensely talented player who could become a superstar in the right environment.
There has been much speculation where Cousins will end up when he hits unrestricted free agency after the 2017/18 campaign, or if he will be dealt by Sacramento prior to hitting the open market. Regardless of the chatter surrounding him, Cousins doesn’t expect to be traded in the near future, Marc Stein of ESPN.com writes. “Unless you know something I don’t,” Cousins responded when asked if he thinks he’ll remain in a Kings uniform.
“I talk to management a lot,” Cousins told Stein. “We’re on the same page. I’m not worried about it. To know that you’re wanted throughout the league … I’d be worried if nobody wanted me. Then I’d have a situation on my hands. But I’m happy where I am. I’m happy with this team. I’m in a great place.”
Sources with knowledge of Sacramento’s thinking say that the Kings believe it’s still too early to seriously entertain the idea of trading Cousins, even with the clock ticking toward the final season of the four-year extension he inked back in 2013, Stein notes. Interested teams continue to contend that the Kings will be facing the prospect another sub-40 win season prior to this season’s trade deadline and the team will ultimately feel compelled to part with Cousins before he enters his contract year, since keeping him beyond February could make it extremely difficult to receive anything close to equal value for the player, the scribe adds.
The center, who is averaging 28.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists this season, places the blame on himself for the team’s lackluster record thus far in 2016/17, Stein writes. “I can’t speak for the next man,” Cousins said. “I’m speaking for myself. What can I do better on a nightly basis? I know I can be better every night.”
Cousins is aware of his reputation around the league, but believes that he is misunderstood, Stein relays. “I’m comfortable in my skin,” Cousins told Stein. “So comfortable. I know who I am as a person. I stand by that. I’m a very prideful man. I’m at that point where I could care less what the next person says. I think I get better every year as a player, as a person, as a son, a father, all of that. I think I grow every year. That’s part of life. Absolutely.”