Posted by: Jerry Scherwin
01/04/12 10:56 am EST

DeMarcus Cousins is a child.  He is a child as much as he is a knucklehead.  He is a knucklehead as much as he is a pain in the ass.  He is a pain in the ass as much as he is a legit NBA talent.  He is a legit NBA talent as much as he is a giant head case.  He is a giant head case as much as he is still a child.  Thus, we have the complex inner workings of DeMarcus Cousins. 

We know this after one full season in the NBA.  We knew this while he was at Kentucky.  We knew this when he was in high school.  And it seems to be a safe bet that people knew this during his AAU and grade school days. 

Someone with a temper, oft never loses such aggression and anger.  Someone with a “what about me” attitude, oft never loses such self-destroying thoughts.  That is, until they meet their match.  The one person that challenges them all the while getting the most from them

 Nothing has changed in Sacramento for Cousins, and it will more than likely never change in Sacramento for Cousins.

But that’s not to say it won’t change elsewhere.  That’s not to say it can’t change in Philly.  That’s not to say Doug Collins can’t be the man that gets through to Cousins (as uneasy as that may be).


Cousins is one of the most divisive young talents in the NBA.  He also is one of the youngest players in the league with the highest talent-ceiling.  His unique combination of size, age, ego, and strength is a pool of unparalleled talent that NBA big men dream of.  He holds an arsenal that his NBA brethren loathe.  A repertoire that so many like him, would kill for.

At what point does that all click for DeMarcus?  At what point does he drop the “poor me” attitude?  At what point will he mature and figure it all out?  

The only person that can answer that is DeMarcus, but what could push that realization along is a change of scenery.  This is a strange phenomenon that has granted zealous and extremely unhappy players “new life”.  But, at the same time, for every Zachary Randolph there is a Stephon Marbury.  For every future All-Star in a new arena, there is a cancer cell that destroys every locker room he’s traded to. 

I think DeMarcus will follow what I like to call the “Z-Bo Trajectory”.  For those that may not understand, Z-Bo was on a slippery slope while in the newly acclaimed “Lob City”.  His father passed away, he was suspended after being arrested for drunken driving, suspended for punching a Phoenix player, and had been suspected to enjoy smoking the reefer.  He needed to get out of L.A.  He needed to start over.  Start anew.  He needed to shed the weight that comes along with being a professional basketball player in the bright lights of California; both physically and mentally.  He was then traded to Memphis, where he was selected for his first NBA All Star Game.  He went beast mode.  He dominated games.  He was an MVP candidate.  Oh, and he got a four year contract extension; $66 million worth, guaranteed.

Cousins needs to find his Memphis.  He needs to be removed from the cellar dweller Kings that will never offer the sense of structure a young talent like him needs.  He needs to be exorcised from the continual threats and rumors of moving.  He needs to head to a place of continuity and discipline.  He needs to play for a coach that has experience dealing with big men and wouldn’t mind managing a personality as big and complex as DeMarcus’. 

7-6, your future big man is waiting.

Yes, I realize new owner Josh Harris and his team of intelligent and rich basketball minds want to change the average fans idea of the team.  Yes, I realize trading for DeMarcus Cousins would seem to counteract this idea.  But sometimes you have to take a chance on a guy or two.  And often that chance turns into perennial playoff appearances, a new pride in the community, and the raising of a banner.

Ask Dennis Rodman.

Still, I realize this move would more than likely be scolded by Philly fans who I can already hear mumbling, “Same ol’ Philly team, same ol’ thug basketball”. 

I say to those naysayers, pipe down with your Allen Iverson hating ways.  This move has a massive upside.  An upside you just don’t get every day.

In Cousins, you get a guy that averages 14.1-points per game.  He adds 8.7-rebounds, 2.5-assists, and .8-blocks.  All of that in his first season in the NBA.  All of that as a 20-year old.

Standing at 6-11, he is 270-pounds of pure havoc.

Still think it’s a bad move?  Then, riddle me this-who you would rather have, Cousins’ and his stat line or this mystery player?:

A 32-year old veteran who has averaged 18.8-points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4-assists, and 1.9 blocks in his long career; averaging about eight minutes more per game than Cousins.  He’s been known to have few major injuries that kept him from playing and a body that is on the verge of breaking down.

You’d take the 21-year old.  Every time.

The 32-year old is current Sixer power forward, Elton Brand. 

What’s astounding is that there is not much difference in those lines.  Fine, there may be a bigger pool of stats to go off of with Brand that would insist he is the better option; but Brand does not have much time playing the type of basketball we are used to seeing from him.  He is getting old and his body type, compared to other NBA alumni with similar structures, would argue that after the age of 32, they start to show their age.  They start to become a problem.

The Sixers could trade Brand for Cousins straight up, right now (a deal that works on ESPN’s Trade Machine).  There would more than likely have to be a pick or cash considerations in the deal, but it would be worth the add-in as you don’t stumble on a talent like Cousins every day. 

For the advocates of keeping a draft pick, with the Sixers looking as though they will be selecting players in the upper half of the draft because they will be a perennial playoff team (yes, I said it, a perennial playoff team), is a late first round prospect bring as much as Cousins does to the hypothetical table? 

Hell no.

With Brand’s minutes and the likes of Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams, Evan Turner’s, and Iggy’s ability to provide a consistent offense, Cousins could be a monster for the 7-6. Oh, and don’t forget about the coaching staff and their persistence to get the most of their players.  Lou Williams is playing out of his mind and Spencer Hawes is finally being the center Philly fans were hoping for; both of which were two players without much real fan expectation going into the year.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think Doug Collins couldn’t get through to Cousins.  The kid needs continuity, and if there is one thing the Sixers have made clear, “continuity” is exactly what they are building on.  That is their motto.  That is their bread and butter.  That is what is going to get them to the second round of the playoffs and so on.

With the addition of Cousins, the Sixers would have a cast of 12-players under the age of 28 (11 under the age of 25) on their roster. 

Continuity?  I’d say you’ve found it, right next to the Fountain of Youth.

So, I guess my question to Philly fans is: would you rather move forward with a big man whose stat line will decrease drastically in the next two years, or sign a 21-year old trouble youth, whose upside, potential, and undeniable talent can possibly give the 7-6 an undeniable surge of young talent that will come in handy come time for the playoffs?

I’ll take the 21-year old head case every single time.  But I would also love to go to a casino with Allen Iverson and go for a bike ride with Delonte West. 

Life on the edge is much more fun.







12 Responses to “TRADE FOR COUSINS ?!?”

  1. AJ
    4. January 2012 at 11:36

    I think if we added Cousin’s we could be serious contenders in a year or two. However thinking that the Kings would take Brand for Cousins is a joke, though Brand has been playing well his trade value is still very weak.

  2. Francis
    4. January 2012 at 12:14

    Brand for Cousins? Even if you threw in a pick, I doubt the Kings would consider that. If they want to deal Cousins (which is not a given), I’m fairly certain they can find a much better deal out there…

  3. Matt
    4. January 2012 at 13:58

    What world do you live in where Brand for Cousins is remotely reasonable? Might as well trade Iguodala for Dwight since we’d prefer his statline. Great analysis.

  4. random nba fan
    4. January 2012 at 14:13

    You are correct when you explain that DeMarcus Cousins is an enigmatic talent and that a change of scenery might benefit him. However, the Sacramento Kings have publicly stated that they have no desire to trade Cousins at this time.

    The Kings organization hopes that that it can help DeMarcus grow and mature into the player that they believe he can become.

    The talent is undoubtedly there, and the Kings do have time to see if the youngster does some maturing before trading him away.

    Talent wise, taking a risk on Cousins could be explainable. However, it would take much more than an aging, expensive Elton Brand to get the Kings to deal away such talent so soon.

  5. Wallace
    4. January 2012 at 14:50

    Did you really just suggest the Kings take Brand for Cousins? I take it this is a joke. What the Sixers should do is offer that stiff Evan Turner for Cousins. Despite all the kind words from Collins, the fact is he wanted Favors or Cousins NOT Evan Turner.

    Evan Turner is a brutally bad basketball player. Will he improve? Maybe, but at this point it’s painfully obvious he’ll be nothing more than a roll player at best.

    Turner for Cousins. Do it NOW Thorn!

  6. Hank
    4. January 2012 at 15:51

    Yikes. First off, the Z-Bo comparison isn’t all that great of a comparison. Before he even went to the Clips, he had routinely averaged 20 and 10 with the Jail Blazers. He was considered a stat stuffer but a team cancer until last year, at the age of 30. I would love to have Cousins, but if we got him I would sure as hell hope he got rid of the locker room cancer tag before he reached 30.

    Secondly, there is no way in hell the Kings pull of any trade for Cousins in which Elton Brand is the centerpiece. You gave us his career number, which include his all star years with the Clippers. Last year, in what was considered a great year for his current ability, he averaged ~15 and 8, which everyone and their mothers are predicting to go down this year. No chance in hell Sacramento gives up Cousins for that. Only way we could even take a stab at Cousins, in my opinion, is by giving up Iggy or Holiday.

  7. Philadunkia
    4. January 2012 at 16:23

    Yes there will need to be more than just Brand included in a hypothetical deal but not much more. Whether the Kings want to trade him or not, they are listening regardless (especially if Cousins ends up being a somewhat glorified bench player that is suddenly playing to fit a roll). Now that the 7-6 have two second round draft picks after the Speights trade, that could potentially sweeten the pot. The Kings could use a VETERAN big man like Brand; which would make them better now. They also have a heap load of money to sign him for a few more years.

    The Sixers could use a big man that Collins can coach up, sign to an extension, and add to the young nucleus they have. It may be a fantasy world and a fantasy scenario, but often times these “fantasy” scenarios end up playing out.

    The Evan Turner scenario isn’t bad either and it also can work money-wise. I just don’t think the Kings need another guard in their already crowded, guard heavy-roster. Turner may have the upside that the Kings would want, but it doesn’t make sense with Sacramento already committed to Tyreke Evans, Jimmer, Marcus Thornton, and John Salmons. Not including Cousins, the Kings have one true power forward. Brand would be a god send.

    As always thanks for reading and commenting.

    — Jerry

  8. Kings Blog: Tip Sheet: Kings attempt to rebound from loss to Grizzlies at
    4. January 2012 at 21:14

    […] Scherwin makes a case for the Philadelphia 76ers acquiring Cousins in a blog post for TrueHoop Network affiliate […]

  9. Kings Blog: Tip Sheet: Kings attempt to rebound from loss to Grizzlies at
    5. January 2012 at 05:31

    […] Scherwin makes a case for the Philadelphia 76ers acquiring Cousins in a blog post for TrueHoop Network affiliate […]

  10. Ray
    5. January 2012 at 20:25

    dumbest hypothetical scenario i’ve ever heard. you think two second round nba picks the equivalent of 6th round nfl picks will sweeten the pot?!let’s take an old past his prime 15 mill per year guy for a perennial all-star…you dummy! any team in the league could offer something better than that!

  11. matt
    5. January 2012 at 21:02

    anytime you can get a 40% shooting center who chucks it all night and is a nightly threat to foul out you gotta do it. Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t have traded SPEIGHTS for cousins.

  12. KRS1
    6. January 2012 at 01:56

    When you hear that demarcus cousins is available, you pick up that phone, period. If it were up to me i would have kept speights to add to this hypothetical brand idea, but also two second round picks is relatively the same value.
    I do believe in doug collins and i believe that doug collins and the rest of this young team would be an ideal environment for Demarcus. Demarcus would be the man here and i actually believe the media would have fun with this guy. There are red flags all over this man, excuse me, child, but this a league that really is based on top five picks and potential. When I would watch him play at Kentucky, i often thought he was the better player than Wall but i always thought they are two players you cant compare due to position. Of course you get wall with the first pick, if the sixers were lucky enough to have that pick we would be idiots not to take him! I often think that cousins shouldve been our pick but I actually wanted to see how he panned out in sacramento(which i think is not a great environment for a talent like him) He needs to be in a big city like Philadelphia for him to take his career serious, becasue quite frankly this is a town that takes its sports team very serious. Worst case scenario if we could obtain him, we trade him for a second round pick lol. Best case scenario, the deepest, youngest most exciting team in basketball bar none.
    I’d give up a first rounder, brand, craig brackens and jodie meeks to get this guy. it was said what are we going to get in value with a mid first round pick where as a team liek the kings will be in the high end of the lottery, they could easily utilize picks to get someone that fits that team and city’s personality this upcoming draft is deep but not deep enough for the sixers to actually garnish value where we will be serious contenders. This trade might seem illogical on the outside looking in but haven’t we seen trades from the lakers where they pull pau gasol out of nowhere? is it really not something that could be legit? you can nay say all you want but none of us are GMs or owners but if you look at it from Sacramento’s perspective its not a bad idea to bring in a veteran guy like brand to teach younger players about this business, cousisns will stunt the growth of that team if it really comes down to it. You must build around tyreke evans, drafting cousins was a fantasy mistake thinking that they can coexist i guess. Environment is everything for a child like Demarcus, philly will man him up real quick.
    Spencer hawes the next vlade divac!!!

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