Our good buddy Alex Kramers , who we’ve done some work with before (Careers after the Sacramento Kings, anybody?) has a nice piece featured on Kings.com that focuses on potential draftee’s and their feelings towards the Kings and Sacramento. Greg Monroe, Wesley Johnson, and DeMarcus Cousins all did their best to swoon the fans, especially Cousins:
"“It would be an honor (to play for the Kings),” University of Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, shortly after declaring he was the best player in the Draft, said.“I would love to play for them, and I think I can go in there produce and learn to play my role. I enjoyed the city and the (coaching staff), and we had a great workout.”Cousins maintained he and Evans have the potential to form one of the most exciting duos in the League.“It would be fun,” he stated. “Tyreke is a great player, and I think he and I could have a good inside-outside combo.”"
In other news, former Kings beat writer and current Fanhouse columnist Sam Amick caught up with University of Kentucky coach John Calipari who continued to say teams passing on Cousins will regret their choice.
"“People are making a big-time mistake on this kid,” Calipari told FanHouse by phone leading up to the draft. “I’ve never coached a player who has come as far as fast as he did. … Maturity-wise, basketball-wise, he has got to grow there, but he has come a long way.”“In my opinion, he should be a top three pick,” said Calipari, who coached Evans at Memphis and was consulted by the Kings regarding his former players both then and now. “He’s not even close to how good he can be.”"
If Coach Cal is anything, it’s a premier talent evaluator. His continued support (much of it going out of his way) of Cousins speaks volumes to me. I’ve seen Calipari extend a helping hand before, but, not to this extent – mainly because I believe he feels Cousins has gotten a raw deal from most of the major media outlets. I can’t help but feel the same way.
For those that missed the telling article on Cousins’ at FreeDarko, here it is. It’s very much worth your time.
Last but not least, current Sacramento Kings beat writer Jason Jones touches on the Cousins situation as well:
"If DeMarcus Cousins is available after the first four picks in today’s NBA draft, take him.He’s everything the Kings need. He’s big. He’s physical. He has a mean streak.The Kings know he’s a good fit. Cousins knows he’s a good fit.Yes, scouts and draft experts have raised questions about Cousins, who played one season at Kentucky. He has been labeled as immature. He has been criticized for arguing with his college coach, John Calipari, on the sideline during games.No, Cousins jawing with his coach during a game is not a good thing. But what’s worse is a player who doesn’t care. The Kings don’t need a player who accepts being benched and not competing with his teammates.Cousins’ sideline demeanor didn’t come from a disrespectful place. He was a player letting it be known that he wants to win.The best players on any team are also the toughest. And the moment Cousins puts on a Kings jersey, he would be one of his team’s best and toughest players."
As I’ve said from day one, Cousins is my guy. I know there are legit concerns, but, chances are this will be the final opportunity the Kings have to hit a homerun in the draft. No player at the #5 position has anything close to the potential that Cousins has – it’s a chance you have to take.