DeMarcus Cousins has never been able to generate a winning season with the Sacramento Kings, how will it be any different with the Phoenix Suns?
The ongoing trade talks between the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns have started to pick up, and many are speculating that “Boogie” will be in a Suns’ uniform by the trade deadline. Many Suns fans are excited for the center to join this young Suns team because there has been a lack of scoring from the interior in Phoenix since Amar’e Stoudemire and Shaquille O’Neal. That in mind, would the addition of DeMarcus Cousins make the Phoenix Suns playoff bound?
Since being drafted by Sacramento in 2010, Cousins has yet to lead the Kings to a winning season and into the postseason. The lack of wins generated by the Kings is also due in part by the constant coaching changes the team goes through, as they have had six different head coaches since DeMarcus Cousins first entered the league. This ongoing coaching carousel is mainly in part to the lack of maturity in Cousins as he has a tendency to argue with coaches, argue with media, and argue with officials which leads to technical fouls and ejections more often than coaches would prefer. Through his seven seasons in the NBA, DeMarcus has accumulated 105 total technical fouls, which comes out to about one technical foul in every four games!
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Even though he has good personnel surrounding him, DeMarcus Cousins has found a way to argue and be detrimental to his team. Early in his career, the Sacramento Kings suspended Boogie for confronting Spurs announcer Sean Elliot in an antagonistic way. In 2012, then Head Coach Keith Smart benched the big man for an entire half because of an altercation between the two. Last season he was suspended for one game in March because he made angry gestures at Head Coach George Karl. This season Cousins confronted and verbally abused a reporter with the Sacramento Bee over a column that discussed an altercation in a New York City night club. His history with coaching and media issues seem to continue, and this will no doubt happen if he joined the Phoenix Suns.
Also, as it currently stands, the Phoenix Suns are more reliant on their guards and forwards to score the ball. Most of the sets that the Suns run are for Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe to attack and make a play for a teammate. The team rarely ever runs a play for Tyson Chandler or Alex Len in the paint because neither of the two are an interior force. This contrast of play will be an early downfall if DeMarcus Cousins came to Phoenix because the team will struggle to integrate him into the system. Even if they do manage to utilize the center effectively, the production of Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe will fall.
Another downside to trading for DeMarcus Cousins is the amount of assets that the Phoenix Suns are planning to give up for him. So far, the 2017 1st round pick, a future 1st round pick, T.J. Warren, Alex Len, and maybe, Brandon Knight are all on the table. Though the trade will allow the Suns to acquire a top-5 center in the league, the overall depth of the team will be weak. The Suns will be lacking an offensive sixth-man, a decent small forward, and two future first-round picks.
Overall, the Phoenix Suns may land one of the best offensive players in the NBA, but they will be asking themselves many questions afterwards. How will DeMarcus Cousins fit in this Phoenix Suns’ offense that is guard-heavy? How will the depth of the team change after players are being moved out of Phoenix? Will DeMarcus Cousins be able to lead the team into the playoffs and will the team even make the playoffs at all? As the trade deadline nears, many of these questions will soon begin to weigh heavily on the mind of Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough – and I hope this causes him to say no.