NBA scout on Kings: Cousins might not be a fit for George Karl’s system

George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins are both very good at their jobs. But will they bring out the best in each other?

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Perhaps George Karl knows something that people outside of the Sacramento Kings organization don’t.

When word leaked this past offseason that Karl was pushing for the Kings to trade DeMarcus Cousins, most questioned Karl’s reasoning. Cousins is one of the best centers in the league, if not the best, and he’s the face of the team in Sacramento. Why would a relatively new head coach want to get rid of his best player?

In Sports Illustrated’s collection of comments from NBA scouts about all 30 teams, there’s a possible explanation, as one scout questions whether Cousins will be at his best in Karl’s run-and-gun system:

Their best player is DeMarcus Cousins. Why did they use a lottery pick on a center in Willie Cauley-Stein and then sign another center in Kosta Koufos? Especially when George Karl likes to play fast?… Cousins might be the most talented center in the NBA. He can beat you by himself some nights. His decision-making with the ball keeps improving, but the body language, the emotional control are still huge question marks. Cousins is best as a back-to-the-basket guy, not in this run-and-gun style that Karl likes… I’m not sure Rajon Rondo will want to play Karl’s style either. And that makes for a big challenge. Because if your point guard and your best player want to play slower and your coach wants it to be faster, that’s a fight waiting to happen.

The scout goes on to say that the Kings could be best served by playing lineups with as much shooting as possible on the floor, featuring Marco Belinelli and Ben McLemore.

There’s certainly no reason for alarm in Sacramento right now. But the way that Karl and his best players work things out on the court will be something for Kings fans to watch.

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