What if the next great Maverick not only is one of the NBA’s most unstoppable players, but will be in American Airlines Center tonight, more than likely dominating the Mavericks as a member of the Sacramento Kings? So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you? “It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.” “But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.” “No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
We also know that the Mavericks philosophically believe that adding a physically imposing center is a key _ if not the key _ step toward returning to the NBA’s elite. We know this from their failed attempts to land big-fish free agents Dwight Howard (2013), DeAndre Jordan (2015) and Hassan Whiteside (2016). Howard and Jordan, not incidentally, were represented by Cousins’ agent, Dan Fegan, who has a strong working relationship with the Mavericks franchise. If you’re doubting the strength of that relationship after Dallas’ failed attempts to sign Howard and Jordan, look no further than Frisco for a clue: On the roster of the D-League Texas Legends is 6-11, 255-pound Jaleel Cousins, DeMarcus’ 23-year-old brother. Unfortunately, the Legends are on a road trip that had them playing in Santa Cruz, Calif. on Monday and on Friday in Idaho. Otherwise, the Cousins brothers would have had a nice in-season reunion because the Kings have been in Dallas for the past three days.
As a committed member of the Kings with a stated love for Sacramento, DeMarcus understandably has no desire to talk at length about the prospect of some day playing for the Mavericks _ and in the same organization as his brother. But when I asked DeMarcus if he believes Jaleel is in a good situation, his answer sounded like good news for fans who like the idea of the Mavericks acquiring DeMarcus. “Absolutely,” DeMarcus said. “It’s the Mavericks. It’s one of the best franchises in the league. Cuban’s a great guy. Rick’s a great guy. He’s under some good people. I’m confident in the franchise and I’m confident in his abilities, as well. I think it’s a good situation for him.”
I happen to sit right in front of Randolph’s wife and kids during games. It’s a true delight. They yell “DADDY!” throughout the course of the evening. He waves and winks back. It’s all a far cry from the guy Randolph was said to be when Memphis traded for him. Randolph is now a soccer dad. And the loss of his mother is another passage, another part of life.
Chris Broussard: The last time I talked to people about (DeMarcus Cousins), which was last week, what I was being told is that the Kings want to keep him into the trade deadline or close to the trade deadline and see where they are as a team. If they are competing and in the playoff hunt, what I’m told is they would like to keep him.