In the search to give a boost to the Washington Wizards after their 7-12 start, a number of considerations have been offered. One of the most eye-catching has been to try and acquire a major talent in order to be able to better compete against top conference teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.
In one particular instance, the talent being mentioned for any potential deal is Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins. The 26-year-old Cousins is currently in his seventh season with the Kings after having been selected by the team the fifth overall player in the 2010 NBA Draft.
While the level of offensive production that Cousins would bring to the Wizards would be considerable, it would be in the best interests of Washington general manager Ernie Grunfeld to look elsewhere for any talent infusion. That’s because the amount of baggage that Cousins would bring to this currently struggling squad will only serve to make it more difficult to build a winning team.
There’s never been a question concerning the athletic ability of Cousins, who’s been able to double his average point production during the course of his NBA career. After 18 games this season, he’s averaging a career-best 28.7 points and 10.4 rebounds, numbers that would make any NBA front office salivate. He is one of only 13 players who are averaging a double-double this season.
However, Cousins has had problems with past teammates and most notoriously had repeated conflicts with former coach George Karl, who was later fired. Plus, his volatility on court has led him to being among the perennial leaders in the dubious category of technical fouls.
Despite the conflicts that have been a part of much of Cousins’ Kings’ career, the team won’t be dealing him without receiving plenty of talent in return. That effectively should eliminate the Wizards from any further consideration, since trading for Cousins would decimate what talent that Washington does have on its roster.
Right now, the starting five are the only players producing for the Wizards. That means to get anything close to someone with Cousins’ talent, Washington would likely have to give up a player like Otto Porter and a member of their starting backcourt. In the latter case, the duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal are currently providing 44 points worth of offense every game.
Realistically, the Wizards could include their entire bench and Sacramento wouldn’t be interested. That’s because their collective production per game is nearly 10 points less than Cousins himself.
Having Cousins on a team that would be no better than the current one is asking for trouble. Dealing with Cousins’ continuing frustration is something that the Wizards don’t need, which suggests that looking elsewhere is the best game plan.