Could DeMarcus Cousins end up with the Kings when free agency begins Sunday?
According to The Athletic, which cited unidentified sources, the center would be open to returning to Sacramento. The Kings, however, have not expressed interest in signing Cousins.
The report notes the Kings are instead interested in growing their younger players and playing at a faster pace. They have also have tried to stay away from big personalities (like Cousins’) since trading him to the Pelicans in 2017.
“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).”
The Undefeated reported earlier this week that seven NBA teams have expressed interest for the center, including the Knicks and the Clippers.
Cousins was in a tough position last offseason when he entered free agency after two seasons with the Pelicans. He was dealing with a torn Achilles that would keep him sidelined much into the 2018-19 season. He ended up signing a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors.
Now, Golden State can offer him up to $6.8 million on a one-year deal but Warriors coach Steve Kerr questioned whether Cousins would accept that.
“I think there’s a chance,” Kerr said. “I would say the hope is frankly that he can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him. But who knows? Every year is different. There are a lot more teams with cap room this summer than last summer. This summer’s going to be a wild free-agent market, and we have to figure out our own situation, particularly with Klay (Thompson) and Kevin (Durant) and how all that shakes out.
“But I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It’s just a question of what are his goals? What’s out there for him?”
Cousins had an up-and-down year with Golden State. He was cleared to play in January but struggled at times while adjusting to his role. Then he tore his left quad muscle in Game 2 of Golden State’s opening-round playoff series against the Clippers. He missed several games before returning in the finals.
Cousins, a four-time All-Star, averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 30 games this past season.