BOSTON -- New coach, new teammates, struggles to win games and trade rumors.
All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has had to handle all or most of these issues every year he has been in the NBA.
“I’ve dealt with adjustments every season,” Cousins told reporters from CSNNE.com, the Boston Globe and the Sacramento Bee on Thursday. “I’m kind of used to it.”
The Boston Celtics are among the teams Cousins has been linked with as a possible trade destination.
Sacramento (7-11) has never made a playoff appearance in the six-plus seasons Cousins has been with the franchise, with the Kings’ last postseason trip coming in 2006.
And while signing Al Horford certainly bolstered Boston’s frontcourt, Cousins’ talents meshed with the Celtics roster -- depending on what they would have to part with to get a deal done -- would likely cement Boston’s place among the league’s elite that could contend for Cleveland’s spot atop the NBA mountaintop.
When told about there being many folks in New England who wouldn’t mind if he played for the Celtics, Cousins responded, “I heard.”
Because he has heard the trade rumors involving him for so many years, he doesn’t give them too much thought.
“It is what it is,” said Cousins who added that he’s never talked to his representatives or the team’s front office about a potential trade in which his name was brought up.
He added, “Most of the rumors come from people who want me on their team. It (trade rumors) doesn’t bother me.”
But trade rumors do have the potential to impact a player’s ability to perform, with the wondering more about their future than filling the lane in transition.
That doesn’t appear to be an issue for Cousins who has established himself as one of the NBA’s top centers.
This season, Cousins is averaging 28.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, the kind of numbers that provides a glimpse into just how dominant a player he can be on the floor.
But Cousins’ temperament often overshadows his brilliant play which is why a number of teams, while loving the talent, are hesitant to aggressively pursue him via trade.
CELTICS TALK PODCAST: CSNCalifornia.com Kings Insider James Ham has some strong thoughts on Cousins:
First-year Sacramento coach Dave Joerger, who spent the previous three seasons as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, has a different outlook on Cousins now that he spends time with him on daily basis.
“He gets credit for his talent. He gets credit that he’s improved in the league,” Joerger said. “I think he doesn’t get enough credit for the way that his approach to the game and the way that he’s carrying himself and conducting himself has greatly improved. He’s a good person. Now being with him, I see improvement over the last three years, the way that he goes about his business. I think that’s very positive.”
That said, that won’t stop the trade chatter involving Cousins who won’t hit the free agent market until 2018 unless he works out a long-term extension in advance which is something Cousins would not rule out when I asked him about his future.
“I got a season and a whole other season,” Cousins said. “I focus on these guys right here; I focus on winning games; I focus on making the playoffs; that’s it.”
However, he does find one positive about the steady stream of trade rumors: It serves as a reminder of just how coveted the 6-foot-11 big man is around the league.
“I do appreciate that,” said Cousins who quickly added, “but like I said, I’m a King. I’m good.”
Yeah. We know.
And so does the rest of the NBA, which is why, regardless of what he says publicly, he’ll remain in trade rumors until the Kings have a breakthrough-type season or Cousins has his fill of the losing and wants out.
But rest assured, change is going to come to Sacramento.
Whether Cousins will still be around when it happens remains to be seen.