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[It’s March of 2011. A disenchanted DeMarcus Cousins is mindlessly taking part in a layup drill during a practice at ARCO Arena/ Power Balance Pavilion/ Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento]

Paul Westphall: Ah, yeah, what’s up DeMarcus. Um, I understand there’s been a few questions about your efforts on the glass? Yeah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and fix that by participating in some rebounding drills, um-kay? Greaaat. Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and practice on Sunday, too…

[Cousins says nothing, fumes, and goes off to take part in the rebounding drills with Assistant Coach Keith Smart]

DeMarcus Cousins: Hey, guys.

Tyreke Evans: What’s up, G?

DeMarcus Cousins: Want to go to Mokeski’s? Get some coffee?

Marcus Thornton: Oh, it’s a little early.

DeMarcus Cousins: I gotta get outta here. I think I’m gonna lose it.

Keith Smart: Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.

[Flash-forward to December 2011. DeMarcus has his uniform untucked, a headband over his eyes, and his shoes untied with his feet up on an empty chair on the bench, munching chips and playing “Angry Birds” on his iPhone instead of paying attention during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers]

Paul Westphall: So, DeMarcus, what’s happening? Aahh, now, are you going to go ahead and show me those rebounding efforts for us tonight?

DeMarcus Cousins: No.

Paul Westphall: Ah. Yeah. So I guess we should probably go ahead and have a little talk. Hmm?

DeMarcus Cousins: Not right now, Westphall, I’m kinda busy. In fact, look, I’m gonna have to ask you to just go ahead and come back another time. I got a meeting with the Maloofs at halftime.

Paul Westphall: I wasn’t aware of a meeting with them.

DeMarcus Cousins: Yeah, they just texted me.

We all know what happened next. Cousins succeeded in getting Westphall fired and demanded a trade as the Kings marched on to another season of bleh.

It was the Lockout season, and despite all that Cousins came into camp in great shape and seemingly primed to bust out. And he did, averaging 18.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 2.5 spg and 1.2 bpg. But beyond the stats the 2011-2012 season was a train wreck rolled inside a Hindenberg wrapped around a scene where Jesse gets beat up on “Breaking Bad.” There was an incident with a cameraman, shady texting with a ladyfriend and a dozen technicals on the court. Cousins went on to have a nice year in 2012-2013, but the Kings didn’t, and so Smart was fired.

So now here we are on the cusp of another season where Cousins is set to break out to another level. So what’s different? Why should we believe?

Because Mike Malone, wunderkind assistant coach under Mark Jackson for the Golden State Warriors, has taken over. And because Malone likes Cousins, and Cousins likes Malone. It also didn’t hurt that new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive inked Cousins to a 4-year max deal.

Is there any reason to believe that Cousins won’t average at least 20 and 10 this year? And he has to be good for somewhere around a block and a steal per game, right?

Between friends, commenters and drafts I’ve been in, I’m seeing Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh (!!!) go before Cousins. That’s about as perplexing as this.

I’m thankful that JB ran this column after my recent fantasy draft. Thanks to posts like this one, and others that talk about how Cousins is going to put it together, the No. 5 pick in the 2010 real-life NBA draft is quickly becoming less of a steal in the mid-rounds of fantasy drafts and more of a climber into the second or third.

 [It’s training camp heading into the 2013-2014 NBA season. DeMarcus Cousins and new teammate Greivis Vasquez are shooting free throws hours after practice has ended]

DeMarcus Cousins: This isn’t so bad, huh? Makin’ bucks, gettin’ exercise, workin’ toward havin’ a halfway decent season?

Greivis Vasquez: F***in’ A.

DeMarcus Cousins: (nodding) F***in’ A.

From Around The Web

  1. Slim

    Buddah Lovaz says:
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    In the REL Dynasty I think he’s about a $40 guy. I’ve got Bosh,Pau, and Duncan at around half of that. I know you don’t wanna give anything away before the draft but are we close to being in agreement?

    • Slim

      Buddah Lovaz says:
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      @Buddah Lovaz: It looks like REL Dynasty might go with no inflation. So I’m wondering about a baseline for the youngsters. I’m thinking $20-$30 for top 10 picks, $10-$20 for the next 5, then all bets are off. I imagine Oladipo is gonna be well over $30. Do you think those are reasonable baselines?

      • Slim

        Buddah Lovaz says:
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        @Buddah Lovaz: By picks I mean where they were drafted in the 2013 NBA draft.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Buddah Lovaz: I say too much for Oladipo. Is he even going to be starting? I’ve seen 10 different depth charts for the Magic, some with him in there, some not. Eventually, he’ll be in there, of course. I see him as an early phase Kawhi Leonard. And what’s up with Bennett? He looks better, now he’s got sleep apnea and asthma. Purchase accordingly.

  2. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:
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    I think people are realizing that his days as a troubled youngster are getting smaller in the rear view mirror. And that those other guys are getting long in the teeth.

  3. Prodders says:
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    Just drafted for 10 team 8 cat h2h, this is my team:

    Rubio
    Leonard
    Durantula
    The Brow
    Jonas / the LL
    Teague
    Drummond
    Oladipo
    Butler
    Jackson
    Knight
    Korver
    Henson

    What say you? I’m pretty happy with it, altho shame to miss out on Bledsoe, Boogie and would’ve liked to stash Westbrook. Any suggestions? Think Henson and Korver are a better bet than Harrison Barnes (on the wire)?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Prodders: Even for a 10-team that’s a pretty solid opening salvo – I’m guessing you got KD, Rubio, Kawhi and Brow first four?

      I like Drummond. Korver should be decent as long as he’s starting – i.e., as long as the Hawks coach walks around with an untreated concussion. Henson and Knight (Bucks are a MESS) could be flex guys you could drop/add at some point depending on how things are going there.

  4. Brent

    The Fantasy Dick says:
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    Chris Kaman or John Henson?
    I’m dropping Burke to get Kaman, I have Kidd-Gilchrist and can drop him for Henson (or would you drop someone else?) Thoughts?
    We start 3 Guards, 3 Forwards, 2 Centers, 2 UT (no specific positions) with 2 bench spots.

    My team is:
    Teague – G
    Lawson – G
    Wall – G
    Nowitzki – F
    Tobias Harris – F
    Ilyasova – F
    Bogut – C
    Javale McGee – C
    Brandon Knight – UT
    Kidd-Gilchrist – UT
    Trey Burke (have a claim in for Kaman and I have a top priority) – Bench
    Russel Westbrook – Bench

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @The Fantasy Dick: Henson over that guy-from-“The Burbs”-looking freak

      • Brent

        The Fantasy Dick says:
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        @Pete Nice:
        Would you trade Ilyasova and McGee for Valanciunas and Garnett?

        Thanks for the info, I saw it after waivers were due so I got Kaman, who I hope has more value in a full seaseason than Henson.

        Also, what do you think about Kidd-Gilchrist?

        Thanks

        Dick

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @The Fantasy Dick: Do the trade. I’m not into Kidd Gilchrist – I get a sick feeling in my stomach about the Bobcats.

  5. mUshi says:
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    Sup… 13 team 9-cat roto league… Is rubio, mayo too much to give up for parsons and beal? I have wall and lbj to cover for my assists… Thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @mUshi: Stick with Rubio/ Mayo

  6. RudyCorrales says:
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    Yo Pete. funny read man, you had my imagination spinning. good times.

    i asked JB this question but wanted your opinion as well. im stuck and dont really know what to do.

    I’m in a keeper league where you get to keep 2 players for up to 3 years.

    I currently have Lamarcus Aldridge, Pau george, and russ westbrook as my 3 main guys.

    I already kept Lamarcus and Russ westbrook, so this will be my second out of 3 years allowed if i keep them.

    I have no idea who to keep. no idea. I was going to go Pau George and Westbrook but now that westbrook is hurt and its a significant injury considering he is an attack the basket player.

    what do you think? i have to decide by tonight.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @RudyCorrales: Thank you sir! I’d go with George and Aldridge.

  7. Andy says:
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    12 team, 15 man roster. H2H 9 cats

    Would you give up DMC for Rubio straight up?

    My current team:

    Mike Conley
    Bradley Beal
    Jeff Teague
    Jimmy Butler
    Andre Iguodala
    Anthony Davis
    David Lee
    Ersan Ilyasova
    Demarcus Cousins
    Andre Drummond
    Jeff Green
    Kevin Martin
    JJ Redick
    Shawn Marion
    Patrick Patterson

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Andy: Cousins? For Rubio? Nope.

  8. Billy says:
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    D. Waiters or B. Knight for my bench Gaurd fellas?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Billy: Waiters

  9. barker says:
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    16 team keeper keep 7

    i am definitely keeping deron williams al horford rudy gay amd kawhi leonard

    pick three from bogut tobias harris kidd-gilchrist harkless asik robin lopez

    • donut says:
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      @barker: depends on keeper rules. If there is no salary etc. I would keep Harris, MKG, Bogut.

      Bogut vs Lopez is close but portland is going nowhere and they like Leonard. Harkless I like but can he and Harris play together? Seems like Tobias has the inside track.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @barker: @donut: I’d go with Lopez, Harkless and Bogut.

  10. donut says:
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    hopw early is too early to take cousins, 30? I like him a lot this year.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @donut: I got him at 32 and I feel kind of lucky that I did – and that was a week ago. Someone took him over Gasol. Oof.

  11. Anthony says:
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    Would you rather have the duo of Beal and Tristian Thompson or Ibaka and Jamal Crawford?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Anthony: Beal and Thompson

  12. giantsfan says:
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    9 CAT H2H

    Ty Lawson, Den PG
    Michael Carter-Williams, Phi PG
    Dwyane Wade, Mia SG
    DeMar DeRozan, Tor SG
    Gerald Henderson, Cha SG
    Chandler Parsons, Hou SF
    Corey Brewer, Min SF
    Ersan Ilyasova, Mil SF, PF
    Anthony Davis, Nor C, PF
    Amar’e Stoudemire, NY PF
    Nikola Pekovic, Min C
    Chris Kaman, LAL C
    Robin Lopez, Por C

    Feedback?

    • giantsfan says:
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      @giantsfan:

      14-man league

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @giantsfan: Try and do a two for one. Flip Parsons and one of those bleh bigs for someone on a higher level.

      • giantsfan says:
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        @Pete Nice: @Pete Nice:

        Who would you suggest flipping parsons and lopez or kaman for?

        AND, what do you think of trying to do this:
        Chandler/MCW for Teague/Wilson Chandler

  13. Druss says:
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    Hi Pete ! 10 team keeper 18 rounds. I can keep as many players as I want for whichever round I took them in last year.A few extra cats are FT attempted , not total rebounds but OREB and DREB separately and Assits/TO Ratio.

    *Chris Paul Round 1

    *Stephen Curry Round 2

    *Rudy Gay Round 3

    *Joakim Noah Round 4

    *Jrue Holiday Round 5

    *Brook Lopez Round 7

    *Kenneth Faried Round 8

    *Mo Williams Round 9

    *Nikola Pekovic Round 10

    *Gordon Hayward Round 11

    *George Hill Round 12

    *Andrei Kirilenko Round 13

    *Omer Asik Round 15

    *Jonas Valancinuas Round 16

    *Jarett Jack Round 17

    Waiver Wire pick ups I keep will be added to whichever round is free starting backwards. Tobias Haris , Corey Brewer, Tristan Thompson.

    Sorry for the long question but I just started playing last year its my first time picking keepers.

    Thank you so much.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Druss: What’s the question?

      • Druss says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        Well I gotta pick my keepers and wanted advice on who all to keep . I can keep as many players as I can for the round they were in last years draft.

  14. Jacob says:
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    Hey man quick question if you don’t mind..I’m in need of depth in a deeper league. I’ve been offered Gortat and Jamal Crawford for my Tristian Thompson? I love Thompson this year so I’m hesitant..what do you think? Thanks man!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jacob: I’d do it

  15. Yoni R says:
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    I just drafted in my fairly deep 9 cat league and right now my bigs are horford, pau, greg monroe, and amir johnson, and hickson. I don’t have a quality SG (Manu, jimmy butler, and eric gordon). Im thinking of trading Monroe Straight up for OJ Mayo. My best categories are shooting percentages, rebounds, 3s, and defense. Outside of his steals, Monroe doesn’t do anything special in any of those, plus im really worried about this pistons frontcourt exacerbating monroe’s weaknesses. Are Mayo’s upside and Monroe’s downside enough to justify this trade?
    thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Yoni R: Mayo can be a risk too. Maybe try Hickson first? I’m fine with it

Comments are closed.