The Sacramento Kings are playing some of the best basketball they have played in a number of years. Despite a sluggish start to the season, where they dropped their first four contests, the Kings have rebounded quickly and appear to be on the verge of a much-improved season compared to last year.
Some of their big offseason moves are paying off early and in big, big ways. The deal to acquire Kevin Huerter and the free agent signing of Malik Monk have been two extremely helpful moves to help the Kings improve drastically from the perimeter and on offense in general.
There are still holes to fill as the NBA season progresses, though. Most notably, the Kings lack depth in the frontcourt. Domantas Sabonis is the starting five alongside two hybrid wings in Harrison Barnes and rookie sensation Keegan Murray.
Sabonis is a key asset on the offensive end and in order to maximize his skillset, head coach Mike Brown has been starting offensive-oriented lineups. Despite the trouble it forces the Kings to work around on defense, this lineup decision is the best way to get the most out of the team’s best players.
Richaun Holmes was slotted in for backup center minutes entering the year, although he may have fallen out of the Kings rotation in the early parts of the season. That isn’t overly shocking as some of the weaknesses in Sabonis’ game aren’t exactly the strengths of Holmes on the court.
Besides Holmes, the Kings have the option of Alex Len to relieve Sabonis at the five spot for stretches. Len is the only other true center on the roster right now. Chimezie Metu and at times, Trey Lyles, can be asked to play the ‘five’ in very unique lineups that are committed to being undersized and playing small ball for short stretches.
Obviously, the Kings would love to have better options at the backup center position. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who gets significant minutes night in and night out, it could simply be a big man that brings a useful skill set and provides Mike Brown with more choices in how he wants to rotate any given night.
A few things are ideal in this center. Rim protection would be great, rebounding is valuable and a similar skillset to Sabonis would not be a bad idea in case the talented big man had to miss games at any point this season. That’s where former King DeMarcus Cousins becomes an interesting name to consider.
The Kings should keep tabs on DeMarcus Cousins
Assuming Boogie Cousins is in good enough shape to help an NBA team sooner than later, the Kings should certainly keep tabs on him and remain in contact with him over the course of the next few weeks. The former King expressed interest in helping this team get back to the playoffs. In fact, he made it clear that he’d be interested in working with the organization that drafted him once again.
There are a lot of moving parts here, and first and foremost the understanding would have to be mutual that he would be brought in as a bench role player and nothing would be guaranteed. At this point in his career, Cousins knows he doesn’t have a ton of opportunities left so it would make sense if he were willing to come in and be a great teammate from day one.
While he would not provide the rim protection the Kings should be looking for, Boogie would provide enough other skills that would make him an asset for this group. Like Sabonis, he can facilitate, and offensive sets can run thru him at times. That means he can fill in for Sabonis if needed but also means he can be a smooth backup and allow the team to do similar things when Sabonis isn’t even on the court.
The reason the Kings should only be keeping tabs on him, for now, is pretty simple. First, they need to get deeper into the season in order to see what they really are and determine what exactly their goals are for this season. Second, it would only make sense to sign Cousins if they first opened up a roster spot.
The most effective route would be making a trade ahead of the NBA trade deadline. A deal involving one of Holmes or Len would allow the Kings to target Cousins on a veteran minimum deal if he is accepting of the role the team can offer him.
For now, it’s just something the franchise should be keeping an eye on. Soon, though, signing Cousins could be a very wise move for the Sacramento Kings.