Slowly, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has transformed from one of the likeliest trade candidates over the next year to a guy ready to cash in on one of the biggest extensions of all time.
Cousins has himself to thank.
The Kentucky product has been adamant about staying with the Kings despite the annual turmoil seemingly always assaulting the franchise. His latest comments came on SportsCenter, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“I’m very happy,” Cousins said. “It’s where I want to be.”
“I think we’re on the right path this season,” Cousins said. “We’re playing the best basketball of the season so far. Our team is extremely confident. We believe we can make this push and make it happen. We’ve been preaching it all year. It’s on us to make it happen.”
This is a continuation of the storyline suggesting Cousins will stick with the Kings because of the huge deal he can ink.
Last month, James Ham of CSN California provided some insight:
CSN California has confirmed through a league source that the two sides have tossed around numbers and that barring a late change in direction by either side, Cousins intends to sign a massive, max-money extension, estimated at roughly $207 million during the offseason that will keep the big man in a Kings uniform long-term.
This isn’t what the rest of the NBA wants to hear. Cousins is the best center in the game and big-name stars leaving franchises that fail to build around them properly has long been a tradition.
But this is also good for the NBA. If one of the league’s best players stays in a town like Sacramento, parity and other superstars doing the same could be the norm. Then again, nothing is set in stone.