DeMarcus Cousins: Trading Young Forward Would Be Mistake for Sacramento Kings

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 19: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings stands on the court during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Sleep Train Arena on December 19, 2012 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings would be stupid to trade DeMarcus Cousins, despite the various issues he's had this season.

His actions led to some trade rumors in the past few months, with the Boston Celtics being one of the front-runners.

Sam Amick of USA Today quickly quashed those rumors on Twitter:

Little has been heard since of any trade possibilities for Cousins.

It's not as if the player has been a model professional this season. Cousins has been an almost daily headache for Kings head coach Keith Smart.

The young star was suspended for two games after approaching San Antonio Spurs announcer Sean Elliott after a game (h/t Eric Freeman of Yahoo! Sports).

Cousins took umbrage with some critical comments Elliot had made during a Kings-Spurs game and decided to confront the retired player about it.

Then the Kings suspended the forward indefinitely in December "for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team" (h/t Dan Devine of Yahoo! Sports). Cousins only actually missed one game.

If Cousins wasn't prodigiously talented, no team would want to put up with him. He would just join the long list of players who jump around from team to team after a season or two.

Since he's averaging a double-double per game, many teams would be love to have a player of Cousins' caliber on his team. With the way he's performed already, Cousins can become a dominant force in the paint for years to come.

At this point in his career, the Kings should hold on to him.

Cousins is a bit like Rasheed Wallace.

Wallace could have been one of the best players in the league if his head was right. While he was a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, Wallace contributed to what was one of the most toxic atmospheres in the league.

When he got to the Detroit Pistons, Wallace became much more professional. There was the kind of leadership in the team that wouldn't allow him to get away with the stuff he had in Portland.

Wallace still became a very good player despite his own best efforts to sabotage his career.

That accountability is what Cousins needs in Sacramento. The Kings need him too much right now to be able to sit him on the bench.

The entire situation with the Kings is just a mess. It's a bit unfair to put all of the team's problems squarely on Cousins' shoulders.

Ownership doesn't look truly committed to the team. As a result, the franchise has yet to have a winning season since 2005-06.

Tyreke Evans is the poster boy for the Kings' struggles as he has failed to ever improve upon his stellar rookie season.

Cousins doesn't have the kind of coaching staff and fellow players pushing him like Wallace did in Detroit. Until he gets that, the Kings will never know truly what he's capable of on the court. Cutting ties with him any time in the coming years would be a terrible move for the team.