DeMarcus Cousins draft profile

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DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky)
6'11, 290 lbs., C

The second most talented player in the draft, Cousins stock shifts depending on how the questions around his attitude and desire are answered by teams.  Cousins was in check all season for Kentucky and showed dominance; especially during the 2nd half of the season.  One thing that always lingers though is does he want it and can he keep it under control.

Offensively, Cousins is a load down low as he is able to post-up players and use his body to get lay-ups and his short turn-around jumpers.  He also dominates the offensive glass using his size, strength, and wingspan.  He has excellent agility and footwork for a man of his size and incorporates spin moves and solid handles into his offensive game.

However, Cousins does have some severe weaknesses offensively.  One, he lacks great leaping ability and his shot can be blocked regularly.  Two, he passes like Eddy Curry out of the post (that's not good for Bulls fans with short memories), so he can struggle in double team scenarios.   Three, even though he has a solid jumper for a guy his size, he is a very mediocre free throw shooter.   Finally, while he can set a great pick for shooters and penetrators, he struggles getting to the basket off pick-and-rolls.

Defensively, Cousins would fit best next to a four that is versatile in guarding swing fours and blocking shots leaving Cousins to occupy the lane with his wide body and long wingspan.  Cousins best attribute defends the post well and plays excellent man defense against interior players using his size and strength.  With his wide body, he should dominate the boards and jump start fast break opportunities.  With his solid size and wingspan, he blocks shot surprisingly well for his size.  

However, Cousins while solid at feet for a guy his size, will be exposed on the pick-and-roll as he is not quick enough to hedge screens.  He will also struggle in guarding opposing big men that can play away from the basket.  While surprisingly good at his size in blocking shots, he will not be able to as regularly in the NBA where the athletic bar is higher.

Right now, Cousins is hard to predict.  If he maxed out and learned to control his temper, he could be one of the more dominating forces in the NBA with teams having to plan for him daily.  However, he graded out with 16% body fat at the NBA draft measurements escalating concerns on his commitment.  On top of that, it has been noted that he is a hothead who makes questionable decisions.  Whomever drafts Cousins will have to have a coach that can set clear boundaries and know how to deal with his temper.  

How does his game translate to the NBA?

Right now, his game translates very well physically, as he'll be one of the more physically imposing players in the NBA.  However, there are many questions about his game, and I have serious concerns that he will reach near his full potential.  I also question how good of a teammate he will be at the next level and if it will be cancerous.  

Cousins is projected to go anywhere from picks 2-6, but teams are going to have to question if he is worth the risk for their team.  In fact, due to questions surrounding his character, I would not be entirely surprised he if falls past pick 6, but I doubt that will be the case.  Attitude and talent ability combined, he reminds me of a Zach Randolph, but taller and with even more potential.   If drafted in top 3, I would not blame those teams either as the talent is there.

Comments

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  • I think he will make mistakes in the beginning of his NBA life and if those mistakes are not big enough to derail him completely...he will turn out to be good. That said, sometimes centers need to have that nasty attitude to be successful because they live in the paint area.
    I think at the worst case he will be like Kendrick Perkins with a better offensive game.

  • I think he'll be a better version of Kenyon Martin...I think he's gonna be better than most people think, on and off the court...

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Kenyon Martin lol Those 2 play 2 different games imo...Martin is a tough, hard nosed, high flyer while Cousins is a back to the basket, grounded, tough big man.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Except his game is nothing like Martin's.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Hey Kevin, did you do a profile on Hassan Whiteside yet?!!? Just checking nbadraft.net and they have him slipping all the way to us! Draftexpress has him falling past us as well. If LeBron were to come to Chicago...could he be able to reach Whiteside and help him reach his full potential!? Whiteside might need a serous look. He could be a game changer. IMO, hes like a poormans Marcus Camby.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Here you go man; http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2010/05/hassan-whiteside-2010-draft-profile.html

    I think Whiteside's potential is through the roof, but like Cousins, I struggle with bad tudes!

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Like I stated, Cousins can be really good, but he strikes as a player that could be a cancer. I don't question the talent, but when I struggle giving high recommendations for bad tudes. Most of the time it seems like they pose problems eventually (not always).

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    For the record, I hate the idea of Whiteside or Orton coming to our team. they are projects and immature kids who wont pan out.

    I dont want any big in this draft unless somehow Aldrich falls to us. In that case I think we take him no brainer. But no one else is good enough to crack our rotation. Especially if we get bosh.

    I say we go guard or just trade out the draft in general. I dont see us actually keeping the pick anyway. In which is probably a good move for us.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Can you name the last 6'9" white "bigman" to be successfull in the NBA.

    I doubt that Aldrich will become the first.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    I feel strongly that Cousins will not put it together and will bust in the NBA. I see all the talent and tools that everyone else is seeing, but he doesn't have the mindset to make himself into the player he's supposed to be. If I were drafting top 5 I'd be looking elsewhere.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    this is a helluva player, probably the best in this draft. if i were a team without 2010 potential i would be trying to move up to get this guy, which might be possible because of his "risk" status.

  • Like I said before I barely watched any of the premier bigs simply because most of them were slated to go high lottery. I did watch Cousins, Favors, Monroe, but not much at all really maybe one game worth. However, I did see some definite post skills/scoring out of Cousins. Which is pretty good for only watching one game.

    Cousins though is interesting because first of all were talking 16% body fat which is outrageous. Last year James Johnson looked flabby, and he was at 12%. Thing is look at his combine/pre-draft measurements. Agility which sometimes indicates defensive lateral quickness to some degree at 11.40 is very good for a big. And his sprint at 3.55 while attrocious will certainly come down when he's not a refrigerator.

    With the right coach if this kid is reachable he could be a very effective scoring/post big. But is he reachable? I have no idea as I haven't watched him in multiple games/studied his competitiveness and demeanor. Nor have I seen him in interviews. If we were picking 4-6, and I thought he was reachable I'd say he'd be a great pick, but again I have no idea if that's the case. But for me I always bet against lazy/poorly motivated guys. And 16% fat is about as poorly motivated as it gets unless he is just nutrionally illiterate(which is possible but should have been avoidable if he cared).

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