NBA Free Agency, Sacramento Kings

NBA Rumors: DeMarcus Cousins interested in returning to Kings

DeMarcus Cousins seems have a solid market for his services, but he reportedly has some interest in going back to the Sacramento Kings.

If not for an Achilles’ injury during the 2017-18 season while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, DeMarcus Cousins surely would have gotten a max contract last summer. After signing a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors he’s a free agent again, with rumored interest from multiple teams.

According to Jason Jones of The Athletic (subscription required) Cousins has interest in signing with the Sacramento Kings, but the interest is not mutual.

Cousins of course spent the first six-plus seasons of his career with Sacramento, earning four All-Star selections and averaging 21.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game with the Kings. But strained relationships from top to bottom in the organization made a trade inevitable, and it finally happened in 2017.

The Kings (39-43) had their best record since 2007-08 last season, as they’re reshaped the roster since trading Cousins and played at a faster pace. New head coach Luke Walton is sure to maintain what Dave Joerger started in that regard, and general manager Vlade Divac professed the idea that any Kings’ big man has to fit that up-tempo style.

If you’re talking about the Sacramento Kings, we know exactly how we’re going to play,” general manager Vlade Divac said. “Uptempo, athleticism and shooting. The big guy has to check all those boxes for us to be somebody we consider to draft (or sign).

At his healthy best, Cousins never fit the mold of an athletic big man. That’s even less the case now, with the aforementioned Achilles’ tear and a quad injury that sidelined him for a chunk of this past year’s playoffs on his injury ledger.

Next: The Step Back’s 2019 NBA Free Agency Tracker

Cousins showed he can still be a productive player, averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game over 30 regular season games for the Warriors last season (25.7 minutes per game). Even though a return to the Kings is not in the cards, the big man should be spoken for fairly quickly when free agency opens Sunday night.

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