Per usual, it's been an interesting past couple of days on the Boogie Cousins watch, catnip for all those who dig that sweet NBA drama.
The good news for diehard Kings fans, and for those who simply root for the City of Sacramento, is that the perpetual Boogie trade rumors may be coming to a halting screech. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, not only is DeMarcus staying for 2016-17, and a chance to end a decade-long playoff absence (and the right to get dismantled by the Warriors or the Spurs); he is also going to get paid and be the long-haul building down-on-the-block the franchise needs.
Stein writes, "Sources also say that the Kings, at season's end, want to pitch Cousins on a long-term partnership in the summertime, knowing he's going to be eligible in July for a Designated Player Extension that could make him one of a handful of $200 million players league wide."
So Boogie stays in the Big Tomato (so dope, who knew?) and everyone's happy, right? The newly minted 26-year-old Rio gold medalist is averaging 28/10 with a .495 eFG percentage. Whatever his liabilities on defense and in the locker room, he's a damn good basketball player, even factoring in the "headaches" that come with having Cousins as your poster boy.
Not everybody is riding the Boogie wave, though. On Tuesday night, Cousins was asked about the extension and he flipped the script, asking a couple reporters if they wanted him to stay in town. What started out as a bit of lighthearted fun got awkward in a hurry. Sacramento Bee columnist Ailene Voisin replied with "no comment."
Cousins then asked another Bee columnist, Andy Furillo, who responded, "For me, I would say no."
To which Boogie chimed in with "Well guess what? I'm here."
If $200 million is going to keep Cousins in Sacramento, an air-clearing with the local fishwrap should take place sooner rather than later. Boogie and the Bee—and Furillo in particular—haven't always gotten along, but if the town wants a winner, it needs the best player the Kings have had since the Chris Webber salad days. Boogie, in turn, doesn't need an ongoing media tussle for the foreseeable future.
In the end, though, what matters most are nights like Tuesday's, where the Kings overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Pistons 100-94 on the back of Boogie's 24/13/6, punctuated with a late game-sealing three.
The Kings are now in a virtual tie for the eight-seed. Kiss and make up, people.