Exploring what makes a DeMarcus Cousins trade so damn difficult

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DeMarcus Cousins can be somewhat of an anomaly at times.

The big man is undoubtedly talented. He has career averages of 20.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and with 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks, he's relatively active on defence, too.

In fact, only Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant put up better averages than his 26.9 points a night last season.

And yet, the Sacramento Kings are perhaps only fractionally better than when they drafted him back in 2010.

How can that be? He has such an impact on the stat-sheets, surely he is having a positive influence on the game for the Kings?

So far Sacramento are 3-5 for the season and Cousins has a player efficiency rating of 27.7. That is a figure higher than both Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

Essentially, for all the great things Boogie can do on the court, he is not the kind of leader, or even player that will bring out the best in his teammates.

With the constant rumours regarding his future, one has to wonder why the 26-year-old remains a Kings player, especially after his very public fall outs with previous coaching staff (ahem, George Karl) and several temperamental outbursts on the court.

He's the best offensive center in the league not named Karl-Anthony Towns, so why do the Kings supposedly want to lose him or why hasn't a contending franchise made a strong move?

Sam Amico of Amico Hoops spoke to some executives around the NBA and they have painted a picture about the Olympic gold medallist.

"I'd say it's 50-50," one Western Conference executive told Amico regarding the Kings intentions to deal Cousins. "If not, it's not necessarily because they want to keep him."

"They try to act like they would never ever trade him, but why not?" a general manager told Amico. "That team stinks. They have since (Cousins) got there."

When Cousins arrived in California, the Kings had just finished 14th in the Western Conference and had won a meagre 25 games. Six seasons later, they finished with 33 wins and in 10th place last term.

When you bear in mind the short-term transformations the likes of LeBron, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose had on their respective franchises during their early years in the league, is eight more wins, four places and no playoff basketball really enough from six years?

"They'll never get what they want in return," an Eastern Conference general manager said, per Amico. "They think Cousins is worth more than he actually is. He hurts you every bit as much as he helps you. He's like a cheeseburger or booze. Too much and you'll pay a price."

While that might be a bit of a damning verdict on a player clearly full of talent, the lack of progress the Kings have made with him as the face of the franchise tells prospective employers all they need to know.

In reality, how much would an organisation part with to capture a player like that? Maybe in the right system surrounded by better players, Cousins could thrive.

But that's a maybe. And his and the Kings' last six years are facts.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Sacramento Kings
Pacific Division
Western Conference
DeMarcus Cousins
Rudy Gay
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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