Back and Forth on DeMarcus Cousins « Queen City Hoops

Back and Forth on DeMarcus Cousins

Potential DeMarcus Cousins trade?

Would you do this deal (+ a first rounder to SAC) if you were Charlotte? We discuss.

It’s not exactly breaking news at the moment, as the rumors that the Bobcats are interested in DeMarcus Cousins first came out a few days ago. But it was the holidays, and it took us some time to sit down and discuss this potential trade. And this one gets its own column because it would be among the biggest trades in Bobcats’ history, if not the biggest (The original Jason Richardson deal or when they dealt away Gerald Wallace being the primary competitors in my mind). With that said, here’s some thoughts from the crew at QCH. – Brett

Brett: I’m trying to figure out what the Bobcats would offer (I’m hoping MKG is not available) – and with the Kings having 3 point guards already in Brooks, Jimmer, and mini-Thomas, would they be interested in Kemba (who seems the Bobcats second best trade chip? I’m thinking Bismack would be third, based on potential, but there’s a gap to me).

Taking on Salmons’ contract (3 years at just over 8M per) and Cousins (and possibly Jimmer?) for
Kemba and picks? The Cats have enough cap space to take back significant salary this year (though so do the Kings, and this might put them in trouble of the minimum salary floor).

Greg: Cousins would be a pretty good get for the team. I might be concerned with how he’d get along with Dunlap, but he’d instantly help address so the team’s rebounding and defensive issues. He’s not very efficient, especially this year, but his offensive rebounding and passing would help the scoring in general.

I’d guess that, barring a slam dunk deal, MKG is off the table — he’s shown enough talent and room for growth that they’ll probably want at least another year to evaluate what they’ve got.

Kemba makes a little more sense, but you’re right — the Kings already seem to have a logjam there. Kemba’s better than any of their current guys, though, so there might some interest.

As for whether I’d be willing to trade him for Cousins…I don’t know. I like Kemba a lot; I think that one day, he could be a top-three guy on a good team (a la Jason Terry). But it seems like point guard is such a stacked position in the league these days that Cousins is just a rarer prospect. Charlotte could plug Ramon in right now and probably replace 80% or more of Kemba’s production.

Here’s probably a realistic offer:
Kings get: Kemba, Biyombo, Diop (expiring).
Bobcats get: Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Salmons (or Outlaw)

Both sides basically pull a swap on their prospects. Sacramento gets a very promising backcourt prospect and a young frontcourt piece with potential; the Bobcats get the reverse. Kings get an additional bit of cap relief, if only because Cousins is probably the prospect with the highest upside.

I think Charlotte will probably go out of their way to hold on to their picks, but if Sacramento is willing to settle for Portland’s first-rounder instead of Biyombo, that would obviously be a better deal.

Spencer: Personally, I think it would be a bad move for Charlotte to acquire DeMarcus Cousins. It’s not because the guy isn’t one of the best front court talents in the league right now and doesn’t have the ability to become one of the best players in the league by growing up in a big way, but it lies within the concept that it goes in the opposite direction of where the Bobcats say they want to go.

Now, since the hiring of Rich Cho the precept of this rebuilding process has been to rebuild through the draft and be smart with the way that this franchise spends money in order to have some flexibility in the free agent market. Another very important aspect of the rebuilding plan was to draft and acquire “high quality” players that had a good work ethic, positive attitude and wanted to win. Kemba, Biyombo, Kidd-Gilchrist and Taylor all fit that mold very well. Cousins does not.

If the Amico tweet is accurate, that would likely suggest that the Bobcats are offering Kemba, Biyombo and a 1st round pick. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

Making a trade to get DeMarcus Cousins would give the Bobcats a great talent and the best front court player to ever play in a Cats jersey, but it would require giving away much of the young talent that this team has drafted in the past two years. To me, Cousins isn’t worth the high quality characteristics player this franchise has begun to build the nest on. Sure, he could come to Charlotte and be the player that everyone knows that Cousins is capable of being. We all know that he’s traditionally been a very hard player to coach and not the best locker room presence – if that’s the guy he is in Charlotte as well, it’d put this franchise back at least five years and back to square one. So, does the risk outweigh the reward? Yes.

Mathew: I don’t see the Bobcats being willing to take back salary in the way of Salmons in order to make the deal happen. That’s essentially adding salary via he and Cousins because you have to expect to pay him somewhere near max money after next season. I think they would rather move the Portland pick to sweeten the deal. I also don’t think they’d move Kemba, due in large part to how the fans view him (I think he’s the current face of the franchise and playing much better this season, fueling the unrealistic expectations for him) and their perception of the franchise after the Wallace trade. Whether that’s right or wrong – debatable.

I could see them (and would be in favor) making this kind of offer:

Portland Pick



Greg: I don’t know if the Kings would be willing to let him go for just Biyombo/Sessions, especially with Jimmer thrown in. That’d be a downgrade at both positions.

Mathew: I think Sessions could be re-shipped by them elsewhere to a playoff bound team looking for a backup guard. His $5MM contract over the next 2 years is valuable. I also think Sessions is a better player than Jimmer. Different players though.

The pick isn’t enough to make it happen?

Greg: Yeah, but flipping Ramon would basically net them a late first-rounder or another decent guy. I’d rather have Jimmer for three more years – he’s significantly improved his shooting, even if his defense is still terrible. He could be a good spot-up guy.

The Portland pick looks like it could come this year, which wouldn’t be a great haul, either. This draft is supposed to be terrible, and it’d be in the 12-16 range.

Spencer: The deal that Amico was probably referring to, if it actually happened, was probably Kemba, Biz and a 1st. Yes, the Kings would have a tough time turning that down, but I think the league understands that’s what it’s going to take to get Cousins as well.

If the Amico tweet is accurate, that would likely suggest that the Bobcats are offering Kemba, Biyombo and a 1st round pick. Again, I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. Even if it does involve either Jimmer, Isaiah Thomas, or Aaron Brooks.

Mathew: I don’t think I would do that deal as presently constructed (Kemba, Biz, Portland pick for Cousins and Jimmer) – no. Substitute Sessions for Kemba and I’ll sign on the dotted line, but trading away two young and marketable players for one – albeit more talented – mercurial player would in my opinion be a step back for the franchise. You have to take risks (especially in a smaller market) to build a winning organization but this trade presents too many to justify the move for the Bobcats.

Greg: Yeah, Kemba/Biz/First-rounder seems to be the consensus for that “hard to turn down” deal.

In general, I’d be interested in trading for Cousins. Bismack is the closest thing the team has to a good prospect in the frontcourt, and it’s equally likely he’ll always have significant limitations. Cousins has a lot of red flags, and there’s no telling whether he’ll buy in to the team’s culture or not. But he’s definitely talented enough to start building a team around him and MKG.

If the deal is Kemba, Biyombo and a first for Cousins and another piece…I’d be tempted, but I’d end up saying no. On the one hand, Cousins is likely a better prospect than anyone the Bobcats will find in this year’s draft or free agency. The roster would have a better balance, too, both immediately and moving forward.

On the other hand, it does feel like Charlotte would be cashing in their chips too early. It’s unlikely that Kemba is going to lose much value over the next year or two; if need be, the team can always trade him later when they have a better feel for where they’re headed. The team is bad right now, and has a lot of awkward fits, but there’s not much reason to empty out the cupboard just yet. I’d rather they just sit tight until the offseason and make a few smaller moves.

Brett: To wrap things up – three no’s to the trade we think is the one that it would take/has been offered, though with interest in Cousins from Mathew and Greg, just not 3 lottery picks worth of interest (assuming Portland pick winds up being in the lotto, tail end though it would be).

I’m also a no to Kemba and Bismack – but would accept most deals that only required one of them, even if it meant adding some salary in Salmons. My reasoning is in adding as many talented players as possible and figuring things out from there. Cousins could turn out to be Zach Randolph and Memphis was rewarded for taking on that former headache.

And that’s the end of our current email chain about this – but we’d love to hear the readers’ thoughts in the comments.

27 comments to Back and Forth on DeMarcus Cousins

  • Sam Little

    Why would we ever trade Kemba, I just don’t see that as a possibility.

  • Dan

    I agree with Sam, I don’t see us trading Kemba. Especially when we labeled him PG of the future. Plus I don’t Negative Nancy (Cousins) on the team, even if he is a huge upgrade.

  • Master Ichiro

    The Bobcats have more assets than mainstream media gives them credit. Automatically these so-called experts (who know nothing about the franchise) spout off and assume if the Bobcats make an offer a team can’t refuse it must involve Kemba Walker.

    Kemba is the quarterback. It’s highly unlikely he was or ever will be offered.

    I can think of an offer SAC would have a hard time refusing and it’s Biyombo, Henderson, the POR pick, the DET pick and the Bobcats take back Jimmer.

    See how easy that was fellas?

  • Walshy

    Yeah, if they do that trade(Kemba, Biz, 1st) for Cousins it will basically reaffirm everything about the franchise that made me so disappointed when Kemba got drafted by them. But, at least I won’t have to waste any more time rooting for a joke of a franchise(only still a joke if they make that trade, I’ve actually been very pleased with pretty all their moves in the last two years). Cousins most likely would improve the team this year and next slightly, but would likely clash with Dunlap and MKG, basically ruin any chance of developing chemistry, probably continue with his bad work ethic/attitude, then not resign and leave the franchise even worse off than they are now.

  • Dirtysmac

    Do any trade that results in Kemba, MKG and Cousins on the Bobcats roster. Make everyone else expendable.

  • Luke

    They will not trade MKG or Kemba. I too question if Cousins would be a good fit for this team. That being said, I think i’d pull the trigger on Henderson + Biz and the Port/Det 1st round picks. Sometimes you just have to take a gamble. The rewards are too high, Cousins potential is near HOF. This would still leave us with a top 5 pick in this years draft. Imagine if the dice rolled our way for once. We could walk away with a lineup of

    Kemba – Sessions
    Muhammed or Ben Mclemore (sp?) – Ben Gordon
    MKG – Jeff Taylor
    TT – Jeff Adrian
    Cousins – Byron Mullens

    That team could compete for the the 8th spot in the west. Would be an opportune time to get the Hornets name back and start the true change of our culture. I still can’t believe the Hornets owners wants to rename the team the Pelicans.

    • Logan

      The Pelicans! LOL!!! They won’t sell 100 jerseys! Anyone caught wearing it surely lost a bet! LOL!!!

  • charlottean

    I wouldn’t trade bismack either.

    Mullens, a package of picks and an expiring for a dead weight contract. You don’t give up 2 young talents with no issues for a headcase like cousins. Henderson would probably be very attractive to them as well because he is solid/not a headcase.

    No effing way would I give up biyombo or walker for cousins. Too risky. Giving up mullens and picks is less risky.

    On the flipside, we could just give up expirings and this years 1st which will surely be a top 5 pick.

  • Spencer/sds

    Sessions, Diop, Detroit pick, Portland Pick
    Cousins, Brooks, Salmons

  • jsn23nc

    Trading Kemba would be a very dumb move. I think Kemba will eventually be a future top point guard in the NBA. Trading a 1rst round pick and maybe Biyombo or Henderson would make more sence.

    • jsn23nc

      Also trading a 1rst round pick might be to high for Cousins because they could miss out on getting Cody Zeller in this draft

  • Spencer/SDS

    Also add Haywood….they would need another big man-other then Diop and he would fill that roll, Diop-expiring contract basically swapping for Salmons contract…Sessions for Brooks, brooks isn’t playing good while Sessions is a proven 6th man/possible start for a team and a TRUE pg, something they desperately need…2 1st rnd picks equal it out

    Why we want: obviously for cousins talent and potential growing talent, plus he would (assuming) become our 1st option offensively and a huge boost for us offensively in the post
    what we lose, 2 possible lottery 1st round picks-(unlikely)Sessions: a very smart player that has been playing good this year-was a VERY early possible leader or 6th man of the year…we lose some bench depth…, Diop-expiring contract-which is good…Haywood very cheap reliable center who is defensively minded and well, not terrible by any means..

    what we get: Cousins-that is it basically, a VERY young Center/PF who has light out potential and is already a proven 15/10 player…although this year he hasn’t done as well as years past-i assume do to having so many sgs and not one pg on the team…Brooks-alright bench player at the point-makes us pretty small, no more Sessions/Kemba lineups, salmons-will replace the role that we lost when Carrol left

    Kings gain: 2 picks, very good backup pg, good backup center, allow Robinson to start starting-move Thompson to C, lose the attitude with Cousins in Sacramento, Diop’s smaller contract, more flexibility financially after this year

    King’s lose: Cousins talent and potential to be a top 3 if not best bigman in the league…

  • Elcor

    If the Bobcats want to get a big man, I’d rather them get someone like Paul Millsap or Derrick Favors or JJ Hickson, someone who is playing well and is young but isn’t likely to set the team back by not playing well or because we gave up half of our team to get them. Cousins has the potential to be great (assuming he takes smarter shots), but why would the Bobcats be the team to straighten him? He’s going from a bad team to a bad team. The only advantage the Bobcats would have would be if MJ could talk some sense into him.

  • Spencer/SDS


    if u watch the kings, and watch the Bobcats…you would understand…lmao

    seriously the Kings is considered one of the worst if not worst palce to go right now, that organization has NO direction, it’s back court has 3 sgs, 1 pg and a ton of sfs, all of which can’t create for other, only create for each other…the King’s have more overall talent then the Bobcats, but NONE of them go well together, Cousins will be going to place where he doesn’t have to fight his own teamates, Charlotte is a far different/better environmental for a young player developing, i wouldn’t look into his decrease in “production” which is still better offensively then anyone we have OTHER then Kemba…i would blame most of his “lack” of production or efficiency on his own team then himself…same thing with Paul Gasol, he is by no means the same player he was 3 years ago, but he also isn’t in an environmental suited for him, especially with him AND Howard, for him to be efficient he has to be a GO TO scorer in the post, not a 3rd-4th option of which are usually only mid-range jump shots this year…

    Cousins is also younger then Paul, has had far higher production and potential then Favors, while JJ Hickson doesn’t provide scoring in the post that we need-although he is so far this year looking like a top 10 re bounder so far considering his per 40 minutes

    • Spencer/SDS

      i seriously want the editing ability, or need to learn how to proof read before i post^^; after “ton of sfs” i meant all of which can’t create for others, but can only create for themselves…

      • Folks – I’ve updated an option for the site. Readers can now register themselves on the site (“Register” under the “Meta” heading in the right column) and then you should be able to edit your own comments, as long as you are logged in on the site. Let’s hope this doesn’t crash anything.

  • RobC

    I would not give 2 solid prospects (Kemba/Biz) and 2 solid Picks (POR/DET) for Cousins and anyone else. That is way too risky. Kemba should be off the trade market, unless is for a legit Star. I would rather stay put and wait for Minnesota to shop Kevin Love, that is a different story. I will then throw Biz, Hendo and up to 3 1st Rd Picks for Love, that would be huge. Bizmack, Taylor or Hendo (not both), DET 1st Rd and CHA 2nd Rd for Cousins then I will pull the trigger.

  • charlottean

    agree about love. I would throw the house up for him sans mkg and kemba and build around that trio. I wouldn’t give up biz OR kemba individually, let alone together. that’s nuts. It’s going to be hard to swallow if they do something like that for a headcase guy who could go ron artest at any moments opportunity. fans are starting to like this team. they will hate cousins’ antics.

    incredible talent, maybe he grows up, maybe the worst is behind him…..but i’d rather go with the guys we have. mullens I would risk. he has just as high a ceiling as cousins but also has inconsistent play to counteract cousins’ antics. not to mention a front court of cousins and biz would be absolutely disgusting.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to taking evans off their hands for the cheap, but no effing way would you want both. didn’t work there, wouldn’t work here….price wayyy to expensive.

  • [...] • Might Kemba Walker be the piece that ultimately compels the Kings to give up DeMarcus Cousins? [...]

  • charlottean

    also meant to add…..i think isaiah thomas is a legit starting nba pg if kemba is. he’s just as good or so it seems. I wouldn’t want to swap them just because of the sheer shake up factor. If we get cousins, i don’t want ANYBODY else of consequence coming strictly because the kings have been such a disaster. give me jimmer and some bad contracts but don’t give me brooks or thomas or evans because the disaster will rub off too much.

    i would love to provoke the topic of thomas robinson instead of cousins. offer the 2 conditional picks for him or derrick williams in minny. I would much rather that scenario over cousins and giving up everything it will take to get him and all the baggage. chemistry is underrated. can MKG be the dominate member of a cousins/mkg relationship? not likely.

  • Spencer/SDS

    Side note: if Cousins is gone the Kings only end up with 3 Big men on the roster, unless Johnson goes from sf to PF, a position he tried and “failed” at in Chicago, wasn’t exactly terrible just not efficient…

    they will likely look for a big in the deal…hopefully it is Haywood when he is available to the market…whenever that is…

  • Spencer/SDS

    Just some stats for Cousins compared to the Bobcats per 40 minutes

    Shooting Percentage: 41.3%
    True Shooting%48%
    At rim %-60% off of 7.7 attempts per 40
    3-9 ft%-27.4% 3.5 A per 40
    10-15 ft %-30% 1.4 A per 40
    16-23 ft%-29% 5.6 A per 40
    3%-16.7% 0.3 A per 40
    Defensive rebounding-8.5 per 40
    Offensive rebounding-4.4 per 40
    Assists-4.1 per 40
    turnovers-3.3 per 40

    Everything is Per 40…

    shooting%: 44.6
    true shooting%: 46.7
    eFG% 44.6
    At rim: 55.4, 4 attempts per 40
    3-9 feet: 34.3, 1.9 A
    10-15 ft: 0.0%, 0.2 A
    16-23 ft: 0.0%, 0.2 A
    3%:0.0, 0.0 A
    ft%: 48.5
    D Rebounds: 3.7
    O Rebounds: 7.1
    Assists: 0.5
    Turnovers: 1.6

    shooting%: 37.1
    true shooting%: 45.5
    eFG% 42.8
    At rim: 60.6, 3.1 A
    3-9 feet: 45.8, 1.1 A
    10-15 ft: 37.5, 1.1 A
    16-23 ft: 27, 3.5 A
    3%: 30.3, 5.8 A
    ft%: 70.9
    D Rebounds: 2.2
    O Rebounds: 7.9
    Assists: 1.9
    Turnovers 2.0

    shooting%: 49.2
    true shooting%: 49.2
    eFG% 49.2
    At rim: 64.9, 3.7 A
    3-9 feet: 39, 2.6 A
    10-15 ft: 33.3, 1 A
    16-23 ft: 50, 0.4 A
    3%: 0.0, 0 A
    ft%: 42.9
    D Rebounds: 4.7
    O Rebounds: 5.5
    Assists: 0.8
    Turnovers: 1.7

    shooting%: 34
    true shooting%: 42.9
    eFG% 34
    At rim: 25, 2.2 A
    3-9 feet: 0.0, 1.4 A
    10-15 ft: 71.4, 1.9 A
    16-23 ft: 34, 8.9 A
    3%: 0.0, 0.0 A
    ft%: 85
    D Rebounds: 4.7
    O Rebounds: 2.2
    Assists: 2.2
    Turnovers: 1.9

    shooting%: 37.5
    true shooting%: 44.9
    eFG% 37.5
    At rim: 62.5, 3.8 A
    3-9 feet: 33.3, 1.9 A
    10-15 ft: 38.5, 2.2 A
    16-23 ft: 22, 4.2 A
    3%: 0.0, 0.0 A
    ft%: 62.7
    D Rebounds: 1.8
    O Rebounds: 6.4
    Assists: 1.9
    Turnovers: 2.5

    Everything is what they would hav per 40 minutes

    Cousin’s obviously shoots a lot more per game and isn’t too far behind anyone on our team, if he IS behind, also currently % wise he is having his worst year in almost everything sadly compared to last…could be because he is sick of the King’s lazy or anything…either way he is a far better scorer then any one big we have, don’t even want to imagine what Mullens would be shooting if he attempted as many total shots as Cousins lol

  • Spencer/SDS

    oops for Biyombo, Haywood and Mullen’s i switched their defensive and offensive rebounding on accident:
    also sorry if it is hard to read, tried to make a spread sheet but that didn’t work out so hot when trying to get it on the post :(

  • Nick

    This would be a great trade for both teams -
    Jeff Taylor
    Pistons 1st
    Portland 1st
    DeMarcus Cousins
    Jimmer Fredette
    Whoever the kings have with a big contract the B-cats can eat up for them

    What the Kings gain/lose

    They lose, obviousy, 2 promising people, one with attitude issues and 1 with the size problem
    they gain, an opportunity to get picks to re-stock on young talent and that pistons pick is lookin valuable (although ita protected)
    they gain, cap space, which is important
    they gain, Jeff Talyor who looks to be a Andre Iguadola type player

    What the Bobcats gain/lose

    They lose, 2 future picks, which could help them get young talent
    they gain, 2 promising young players with loads of potential
    the lose, Jeff Taylor (explained in Kings gain section above)

    they way i look at is that they trade the pistons pick and trailblazers pick and D-cousins and J-Freddette are more valuable than that, and they could have a starting lineup of…
    PG – Kemba
    SG – Fredette
    SF – Kidd-Gilchrist
    PF – Cousins
    C – Biyombo

    PG – Sessions
    SG – Gordon
    SF – their second round pick this year
    PF – whoever does the best out of TT and the others
    C – Mullens

  • hendo + diop (expiring) +2 first rounders (from port/det)

    for DMC and salmons.

    this is a hard to declined offer…

  • charlottean

    the kings will get better offers. I’m not a big bargani fan, but from a kings’ view I would absolutely take him for cousins over the options we can offer not including biyombo, walker or mullens or this year’s pick. toronto has more players they can throw in….lowry or calderon…..ed davis…..klieza….etc.


    sessions is the only one who had a restriction that becomes available here shortly or already.

  • RobC

    As long as the Bobcats don’t give up Kemba, Biyombo and MKG, in order to get a talented big such as Cousins, the Cats may offer, Mullens, Henderson, Diop, POR 1st Pick, DET 1st Pick and maybe even a future protected 1st Rd Pick from Charlotte in exchange for Cousins and Salmons.

    That means the core of the Bobcats would be: Kemba, Taylor, MKG, Biyombo & Cousins
    Bench: Sessions, Gordon, Salmons, Thomas & Haywood
    On top of that great, solid and young core, the Bobcats will have the 2013 Rookie and Salary Space in 2014 after Gordon and Salmons contracts expired ($20M). I also believe that Haywood will be a great influence on Cousins, Haywood had a decent career, has a champ ring and is a class act veteran. Cousins had never had that in Sacramento, plus I really think MJ will also be a pretty good influence, in the same way he handled Dennis Rodman with the Bulls.