DeMarcus Cousins is reportedly open to heading back to the team that shipped him away.
According to The Athletic’s Jason Jones, Cousins would be open to a return to Sacramento — the franchise that drafted him with the fifth overall pick in 2010. However, the team has not expressed the same desire.
Cousins spent first six-plus seasons in Sacramento, garnering three All-Star selections. The team traded him to the the New Orleans Pelicans in 2017 for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks.
Vlade Divac has said what kind of center the team is searching for, which Cousins no longer fits the billing for.
“If you’re talking about the Sacramento Kings, we know exactly how we’re going to play,” Divac told Jones, “uptempo, athleticism and shooting. The big guy has to check all those boxes for us to be somebody we consider to draft (or sign).”
Sacramento Kings in the Market for a Center
The Kings are looking for a center after Willie Cauley-Stein told the team he wanted out this offseason. However, the he is a restricted free agent after the team extended a qualifying offer this week.
“We’ve kind of hoped that things would change over the years and Willie would get a chance to expand his game, get a chance to get some consistency there in terms of the roster turnover and the coaching turnover and the things that have not been steady there,” Cauley-Stein’s agent Roger Montgomery told the Sacramento Bee. “That being said, I’m hopeful they will not even give Willie his qualifying offer so Willie can be an unrestricted free agent.”
What’s Next for DeMarcus Cousins?
Following the trade out of Sacramento, Cousins suffered a devastating Achilles injury in February of 2018 the that altered not only his free agency plans, but career trajectory.
He signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors last offseason coming off the injury, deciding to pursue a championship as he rehabbed back to 100 percent.
The Golden State experience was met with mostly mixed reviews for the four-time All-Star. Cousins averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals during the regular season with the Warriors, but had a roller coaster postseason where he was hobbled by yet another injury — a partially torn quad.
The Knicks are among the contenders to add Cousins, while several teams have reportedly showed varying levels of interest for the former Kentucky standout. While there’s significant risk with his injury history, if he ever gets back to his previous level, Cousins could end up being a free agency steal.
Cousins, 28, has averaged 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds for his career.