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DeMarcus Cousins: A Sixers Thought Experiment

Damaged goods! RAHHHHHHHH!!!!


One year ago, I wrote this post advocating for the Sixers to gamble on DeMarcus Cousins even though it was highly likely that they wouldn't. Things got somewhat heated in the comments because of how polarizing Cousins' personality is. Now that DMC has gotten into a public argument with coach Keith Smart, the guy who was brought in to keep him happy, he's running out of rope. The Kings reinstated him not too long after suspending him "indefinitely", but what they'll do with him now is anybody's guess.

Yesterday on the twitter, Spike, Derek, Baumann, and I had a ~140 character debate about the talented headcase from UK. As you could guess, the Mikes were in favor and the... ahem... more seasoned two were opposed. Maybe it's because they've seen too many guys like Cousins flame out and ruin a team while Mike and I are still too infatuated with upside and potential and Sunny Delight. But depending on the asking price, I would do it for a few reasons.

-- His value is at an all-time low. His shot selection is atrocious, he's not getting along with anyone, and his usage rate is way too close to 30. Changes of scenery are often overrated, but you're talking about pennies on the dollar for a guy that would've gone #1 in most drafts on talent alone. He's still a great rebounder with good touch around the basket. With an actual point guard, his percentages would most assuredly go up.

-- If they don't think Andrew Bynum is going to stay in Philadelphia after this year (something no one can know outside of Collins, DiLeo, and Harris), they're not going to have as much cap room as people assume. They will need a big man. Cousins is signed for one year after this one and has a Qualifying Offer of $6.5M in 2014-15. Cost control. If they somehow manage to keep both (pipedream), that frontcourt would be ridiculous. Also bad on defense, but ridiculous still.

-- This team is hilarious as it is (despite not being very fun to watch) -- now imagine what they'd be like with Cousins. I can't imagine he and Evan Turner would get along very well. Cousins and Bynum would be absurd. Cousins and Collins? Cousins and Hawes?! COUSINS AND SWAGGY!?!?! People like a good story. Everybody loves 5 great ones.

In that post, I said "Bringing in a legitimate scoring threat from the 5-spot - something Philadelphia hasn't had George McGinnis? - would do wonders for vaulting this team into legitimacy in the next year or two." Turns out the Sixers did me one better in Andrew Bynum, but he's not medically bankable and this is the kind of move they'd have to make to get an inexpensive, high-upside frontcourt player if they don't re-sign Bynum.

Baumann made what I thought was a great point by saying he'd rather "roll the dice on maturity developing than roll the dice on talent developing." The same thinking was put into place with Bynum's health. And I still would rather stick with Andy. But if the Sixers don't want to, this is a viable, if equally risky, alternative.

What do you think? Would a core of Jrue-Evan-Thad-Cousins be enough to contend for a title? What would it cost to get Cousins from Sacramento? As all of us are medical doctors and have seen Bynum's charts, would you consider him riskier than DeMarcus?

Oh and Happy Christmas and stuff.

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