Ah, the age-old question that has given philosophers fits for as long as we can remember: Should the Lakers — or anyone else, really — trade for DeMarcus Cousins? According to Zach Lowe’s piece on the Lakers, NBA executives remain torn on what the Lakers should do, given the pieces they hold and what the Kings might be offering.
On one hand, Boogie is a breathtaking talent capable of overpowering entire teams at a time. At those times, one can’t be blamed for thinking: whatever it takes. Get me that guy.
Quick story: A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were watching the Lakers play the Kings (a game the Lakers wound up losing) and play was stopped by some sort of foul called. Cousins had the ball and was already making his way to the basket, so he just kept going. He put the ball in his right hand and attempted a thunderous dunk that made Jen (my wife) literally gasp. I could do nothing but laugh. She legitimately felt sorry for the rim, an inanimate object.
This was one of the aforementioned moments that make you consider throwing caution to the wind in hopes of landing such an incredible talent as Cousins inarguably is.
In Zach Lowe’s piece on the baby Lakers, he explained how some executives share this notion.
Some executives would trade Ingram and Russell for Cousins today. Others consider that lunacy.
How could trading for someone capable of things Cousins is possibly be lunacy? Well, this is the same DeMarcus Cousins who just had to pay a hefty fine for a heated exchange with a Sacramento Bee reporter. Both parties were in the wrong in that situation, but Cousin’s at-times childish behavior on the court sticks out as obviously as the physical talent. Hell, in the very game mentioned above, Cousins picked up a double technical with the Lakers’ then head coach, Brian Shaw.
Could a change of scenery to a more stable environment than the Kings offer lift Cousins to heights of maturity he hasn’t yet seen? Possibly. But it’s just as possible he maintains the habits he’s formed over the last six-plus years and whichever team guts itself to acquire him would only offer a different uniform to wear.
Lowe’s article was great, as you’d expect, but the above couple sentences perfectly capture the dilemma that is Boogie Cousins. The context immediately before is also crucial in trying to figuring out where the Lakers stand.
The Lakers would be selling low, anyway. Their young guys might be considered more unproven than intriguing, though opinions about them among rival front offices are all over the place. Some executives would trade Ingram and Russell for Cousins today. Others consider that lunacy.
He’s absolutely right. And this is where I wind up on the issue.
Why trade anyone away when you don’t completely know what they might become for a known entity — especially one as combustible as Cousins is? Of the Lakers’ core of lottery picks, only Julius Randle can legally drink. These Lakers have and will continue to go through dramatic ups and downs, but that’s all a part of the process, which should be enjoyed as much as the result.
Yes, potential is an asset, but what would be the point of improving with a quick fix when juggernauts like the Warriors and Cavs exist, anyway? Answer: It would be lunacy.