As we await news on what the front office and coaching staff will look like, it’s important to look at what is present for the incoming regime to work with.
The Kings and Cousins have put themselves in a precarious position here. Basically, Cuz has one year to prove to the Kings that he’s worth the max extension (he may likely get this regardless from some other team believing they could be “the one” to change his attitude to that of a more mature player).
Cuz has flashes of brilliance where the game looks so simple. So big and nimble, he can literally create his own space and operate at will down on the box (see 36 and 22 game against the Clippers during the home finale). His field goal percentage is a major problem for a man of his size especially when you look at his shot distribution. In the paint, Cuz shot 54.2 percent last season (684 FGA) and if you discount his three pointers last year, outside the paint he shot an awesome 32.4 percent (330 FGA)! What’s more important about that stat, is that almost a third of his attempts were outside the paint! Obviously Cuz is not as good an outside shooter as he might think he is and nor should he be shooting jumpers at that rate.
While it is important to keep the defense honest if a big man can’t gain position down low or if the Kings are working Cousins from the high post exclusively, it seems like the Kings offense was so simplified that it became: throw it to Cousins down low and let him figure it out. There did not seem to be any concept of throwing the ball back out for a reset or a re-post. Part of that is the constant issue of the Kings getting into their offense too late in the shot clock (Hello Tyreke Evans!)
So in conclusion:
1) Get the new offense to allow for Cousins to have different options that puts him in a position to serve primarily as a facilitator from the high post and more of an offensive juggernaut when he gets the ball on the low block.
2) Find a coach/GM that can get through to Cousins with the idea that he needs to push himself to establish position early and get in the low post and command the ball and trust his teammates that the first open 15 footer is not always the best option.
3) Give this experiment one year, and if Cousins doesn’t seem like he can become the franchise leader on and off the court, then trade him or let him walk in the summer. If he does get it, lock him up as soon as possible.
Final Thought: Potential is a dangerous word and you can’t keep banking on it year after year. The time is running out on DeMarcus to become the player he can be with the organization that drafted him.