DeMarcus Cousins had some interesting words for the media following Monday nights 110 – 103 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Here is the quote I’m talking about, specifically, courtesy of Blake Ellington over at SacTown Royalty –
"“I don’t know what’s going to happen … Of course I want to have the mentality of playing every game, but I also got to think about my health, so like I said, I don’t really know what’s going to happen, that’s something I’m going to have to talk to management about, but as of right now I’m playing.”"
It’s something that hadn’t really crossed my mind until Cousins said it, but yea, we’ve reached the point in this disappointing season where resting players is starting to make sense.
Cousins noted that he’s been dealing with ankle, calf, shoulder, and back injuries.
The Kings have 16 games remaining this season, and while Cousins mentioned that he isn’t necessarily ready to shut it down just yet, that decision is probably going to come sooner than later.
It’s the right move for everyone involved. At one point, I thought hiring George Karl would have injected some sort of new life into this team, but it just hasn’t worked out like that.
You could make the case that Cousins should use every second of this season to get acclimated with Karl’s system in order to get a head start on next season, but I just don’t see it that way. Not anymore. This team isn’t progressing like we had hoped. Karl isn’t the magician some suggested he would be. The Kings are just 4-10 since he took over.
This is all ok, by the way. These things take time. I’m not saying that Karl has failed. It’s way too early to make a statement like that. It’s just apparent that Karl is going to need more practice time with this team before they improve, and the reality of the NBA is that practice time during the season is extremely limited.
It’s also important to remember that Karl hasn’t had his starting point guard, as Darren Collison was injured right before Karl took over and hasn’t been on the court since. It hasn’t been easy.
I’m in favor of Cousins sitting out as many games as he and management see fit. Whenever that decision gets made, I’m cool with it.
It’s a shame that Eric Moreland is also out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on his left shoulder earlier in the year. This would have opened up considerable minutes for the undrafted rookie.
Normally, when a team starts resting players they also have young talent they’d like to get a look at. Unfortunately, The Kings don’t have any young talent behind DeMarcus Cousins on the depth chart, but could look into adding someone from the D League player pool.
The 7’5, 360 pound, Sim Bhullar would be an obvious first choice. Bhullar was with the Sacramento Kings summer league team, and has been playing with the Reno Bighorns all season.
In 32 games with Reno, Bhullar is averaging 9.9 PPG, 7.8 REB, and 3.6 BLK while shooting .725 from the field in just 24 minutes per game.
Bhullar has been a weird Kings development project for a while now, and if / when Cousins and Kings management decides to end his season, don’t be surprised if Sim has a few moments for this team down the stretch.
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