Vlade Divac trading DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans was, in many ways, surprising. But Vlade Divac publicly admitting that he had a better deal on the table two days prior?
That was stunning.
“When I heard it, I fainted,” KHTK Kings broadcaster Jason Ross said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “You can’t say that. You can’t say that. If it’s true, great, but why didn’t he pull the trigger? What was it? I don’t have the totals of who was involved. Was it still New Orleans? Was it another team involved? We’ve heard a lot of rumors. I know Orlando was involved in some things. Phoenix, the Lakers, maybe even Detroit – I think the pool was pretty small for DeMarcus, and the net return seems to be not enough. That seems to be the national consensus, and a lot of people locally feel like, ‘Well, maybe they made the right decision in going forward and changing direction.’ But I feel a lot of people thought they didn’t get enough net in return.”
Cousins averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per game for Sacramento this season but has struggled in other aspects throughout his career.
“There’s been past transgressions on the court,” Ross said. “Nothing off the court. He’s been pretty good there, but he’s been a difficult teammate. He’s not the worst teammate of all time, but he’s been difficult, and I think they’ve done everything to cater to him. Maybe they just got to a point where they’ve tried all these different coaches, they’ve tried to put all these different types of players around him, they’ve done everything to try to make it work – and why hasn’t it?”
Cousins, the fifth overall pick in 2010, has never led the Kings to the playoffs. In fact, he’s led the Kings to 30+ wins just once.
“In my mind, if we rate him as the best big man or a top-10 player, top 15 – wherever you put him – I can’t think of another player in the history of the league as talented as DeMarcus that hasn’t won 35 games in a season,” Ross said. “And again, it’s not all on him, but why can Russell Westbrook be a one-man show and win? Why can LeBron take a bad Cavs team years ago to the Finals? And we’re not even talking about the Finals. Just 41 wins. That has never happened. Again, it’s not all on him, but I think they said, ‘We tried for seven years. We’ve got a huge financial decision to go, and I don’t think we’re ready to do that. We’re just going to change course.’”