Recently, the Sacramento Kings finally lost their patience with ridiculously talented forward DeMarcus Cousins and issued a statement that included an interesting point. Coach Paul Westphal stated that Cousins had asked for a trade from the Kings and seemed to indicate the Kings are willing to move him to remove the hostility from their roster.
To be clear, Cousins is exactly the type of hothead no coach wants on their team. He regularly feuds with teammates, coaches; whoever he can fight with, he will.
And despite all of his flaws, the Bulls need to trade for him.
Cousins is also ridiculously talented and could do great things in a Bulls uniform. At only 21 years old with a 6'11", 270-pound frame, a back-to-the-basket game and consistent jumper, it is only a matter of time before Cousins becomes a consistent 20-points-and-10-rebounds-a-game guy. And the Bulls could certainly use him.
During the Chicago Bulls shooting guard woes of 2011, I was a big proponent of the Bulls looking for a young player, around Derrick Rose's age, who can play next to Rose for years. I still believe the Bulls need their second-best player to be near Rose's age, so the pair could play together for a long time.
Optimally, it would be Rose playing the part of MJ and a player, such as Cousins, playing the part of Scottie Pippen. Cousins is actually younger than Rose, and the two could form a high-scoring duo for the next 10 years.
Here's the biggest benefit of Cousins right now: the Kings want him gone, now.
Paul Westphal's statement was clear that the Kings will trade him quickly for pennies on the dollar. He could be had for much less than his actual value, and the Bulls should strike while the iron is hot. I love Taj Gibson and it would be hard to find a Bulls fan who doesn't. But despite the fact he is beloved in this city, he has tremendous value as a trade piece. Taj likely won't average over 10 points a game, while Cousins can reach 20 a game. If the Kings are as desperate as they sound, Taj Gibson, this year's first and the Charlotte pick should be enough to get a deal done.
Despite how important Taj is for the team, if you can get a player of Cousin's calibre for a player of Taj's calibre and draft picks, you have to do it.
Plus, the Bench Mob would actually get a boost of scoring in this scenario. Carlos Boozer would still be a Bull and a starter, giving Cousins the chance to demolish backups along with the rest of the Bench Mob.
Some of you might point to his cockiness and attitude as the reason why the Bulls should steer away from Cousins, even if he could be had for next to nothing. Actually, his attitude should not be much of a problem, and easy to correct. The first benefit is Thibs. A veteran NBA coach who has dealt with many different players during his career should be a stronger moral leader than Coach Westphal of the Kings.
The next reason his current attitude is fixable is the current makeup of the Bulls. No one on the current roster has an attitude problem, and the general tone of the locker room has always appeared to be one of teamwork and friendship.
If any roster in the league could handle a player with Cousins' attitude, it's the Bulls.
Don't forget about the Bulls veterans. The Bulls' starting shooting guard is an NBA champion and has been considered a problem child in the past. The starting power forward has been considered a problem child too; just ask Cleveland for their thoughts about Boozer. Neither Rip nor Boozer has been an attitude problem while in Chicago, however. Both players could watch over Cousins and remind him they both had attitudes, yet managed to get past it to win championships and make All-Star teams. That's a pretty convincing argument to someone such as Cousins to get in line.
Finally, Cousins will get his act together due to Derrick Rose.
While a member of the Kings, Cousins is probably the most talented player on the team and has to create his own shot. If Cousins was a Bull, Rose would get him minimally 10 points a game on easy looks and dunks. How could a player be unhappy with that?
And keep in mind Derrick's humble attitude; it's contagious. As MVP, champion of Chicago, likely starting point guard for the US Olympic team this summer and arguably the best player in the NBA, Derrick has every excuse in the world to be cocky. But he's not.
DeMarcus Cousins is not a MVP, not a face of a city, will not be on the Olympic team and is not one of the best players in the NBA. The more time Cousins spends in Derrick's presence, the more he understand there is no benefit in his current attitude issues.
In the end, Cousins is a tremendous talent with a fixable attitude problem, and potentially could be had for pennies on the dollar. He would be on the bench for at least two seasons before Boozer is no longer with the team.
And once he reaches the starting lineup, Bulls fans will have a decade to enjoy the Rose-Cousins tandem light up the NBA.
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