Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Play GM: Run toward a DeMarcus Cousins possible trade, or run away?
Fran Blinebury: Have you ever seen Usain Bolt at the Olympics? He’d look like he was carrying a refrigerator on his back compared to how fast I’d be running toward trading Cousins.
Jeff Caplan: If I’m the Kings I’m not dealing him. His stock is so low … what am I going to get? The Kings drafted him, so keep working at it. Maybe as these incidents continue to happen, it finally hits him that he’s the problem, that he’s the one who needs to change. Look, the Kings’ season isn’t going anywhere anyway, so there’s nothing to lose by keeping him and continuing to try to get his head right. Get through the season and maybe his value will go up for an offseason trade.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Walk slowly toward. If I can get a bargain because the Kings want to be done with it — a player I can live without even though he has talent, a couple picks that should be mid-to-late in the first round — I’m interested. But that almost certainly does not happen. While the Kings should be willing to have trade talks, they have too much invested, and Cousins has too much talent, to cut and run. If it takes anything other than a low-risk investment or I am one of the few teams that can surround him with an overwhelmingly positive culture, I’m not interested.
John Schuhmann: It depends on what kind of team I have. Cousins needs a coach and at least two or three veterans that will keep him in check. If I don’t have enough stability in my locker room, then I would stay away. I also need to have a point guard that’s going to get him the ball where he can be a finisher and not have to generate his own offense. As big and talented as he is, he’s a pretty inefficient scorer, because most of his shots come from his own post-ups or isolations (only 38 percent of his shots have been assisted). Either way, I’m not giving up much for him, because there’s no guarantee that the light will turn on before his rookie contract is up at the end of next season.
Sekou Smith: Even after his third strike I’m reluctant to say it’s time to trade Cousins away. He’s so talented at such a hard-to-find-his-sort-of-abilities position that trading him at this point really shouldn’t be an option. But let’s be clear about one thing; the young fella is messing with his own money right now with every transgression. The only way to make him understand that his actions will not be tolerated is to let him know that a wanna-be franchise player will not be allowed to run afoul of the rules. That free agent pot of gold he’ll be looking for soon is being chewed up with his foolishness. Every young guy with talent wants a max extension. But not all of them are willing to shoulder the responsibilities, on and off the court, that come with the biggest paycheck in the locker room. The Kings have to show him the hard way that you either take it all on or find a franchise foolishness enough to value your talent over your leadership and other qualities.