Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trading Cousins is the smartest path

Yup.  DeMarcus Cousins sure has matured.

He's gone from screeching baby to unhinged toddler.   All that talk about his growth just seems like an off-season Vivek Ranadive fever dream.  Cousins still seems eons away from harnessing his remarkable talent and putting it into something positive.

Tuesday night's game against the Hawks was a chilling example of his his flammable behavior.  In one two-minute span, he collected three fouls, glared ominously at officials, pushed an opponent in intimidating fashion, and just plain melted down before our eyes.

It wasn't pretty.  But it's something we've seen too many times before.

Cousins has the ability to be one of the best players in the NBA,  but he's not right now.  And with a lack of talent surrounding him - especially upfront - life is only going to get more frustrating for him.

Furthermore, his effect on his teammates is not productive.  They are completely deferential to him on offense, sometimes seemingly feeding him the ball to avoid an ugly stare.  During one timeout during his fourth-quarter flare-up.  rookie Ben McLemore looked at Cousins as if he was radioactive.  You get the feeling the Kings don't want to get on his bad side.  And can you blame them?

Cousins is the best teammate in the world when he's filling the stat sheet, but if things don't go his way -- and they don't more than half the time -- his attitude turns dark far too quickly. 

It might be the biggest mistake in the world, but I've been saying to trade him for two years.

My opinion hasn't changed.  I've witnessed some impressive efforts from Cousins.  He can dominate a game.  He is agile and strong and brimming with potential.   But the Kings can't depend on him because of his unstable behavior.

Pull the ripcord.  Get out now.  Send him to a talented, veteran team that can nurture him without having to make him the centerpiece.

You're crazy, you're thinking right now as you read this, didn't this team just hand the guy a huge, long-term deal.

Well, yes, they did.  And I don't expect them to change their minds this soon and deal him.  

But if the losses start piling up, it's only going to get worse.

Sooner or later, trading DeMarcus is going to be the best thing for him.  And for Sacramento.