Late Thursday night word came down that the Sacramento Kings and forward/center DeMarcus Cousins had agreed to a four-year, $62 million contract extension. The deal is also a full four-year deal and there is no opt-out clause after the third year. The agreement will keep Cousins in Sacramento through the 2018-19 season.
Cousins was the fifth pick of the 2010 NBA Draft and has had a rocky career in the NBA to say the least. Complaints about his weight and poor workout habits combined with major character and personality concerns have hounded the Kentucky product during his first three seasons in the league.
During his young career, Cousins has already been suspended multiple times by the NBA and the Kings.
But there is no denying Cousins’ talent. The 2011-12 season was his most productive and he averaged career highs in points (18.1), rebounds (11.1), blocks (1.2) and steals (1.5) per game. During the 2012-13 season Cousins averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and a career-high 2.7 assists in 30.5 minutes per game. But while he shot a career-high 46.5 percent from the field last season, he hit just 29 percent of his jump shots. That’s an area he’ll need to improve on moving forward.
Cousins was in line for an extension up to five years and $80 million, but the Kings decided against locking him up for that long.
The 2012-13 season wasn’t the best showing for Cousins and new Kings head coach Mike Malone will have his hands full with the 23-year-old. Now that Cousins has cashed in with a big payday, will he be motivated to keep improving? Whether Malone can keep his new franchise player engaged will be his biggest test as a head coach.
Clearly the Kings feel Cousins can flourish under new leadership. We’ll see how that goes.
In the meantime Cousins can be happy that he is one of just three players from his draft class – John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers are the others – to have gotten a big-time extension.