As expected, Sacramento has locked up their franchise big man. DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a four-year contract, worth about $62 million.
The extension kicks in during the 2014-’15 season, but it isn’t the max deal Cousins and his reps had been looking for — the 23-year old center was eligible for a five-year, $80 million contract.
Per the Sac Bee:
The deadline for first-round draft picks from 2010 to agree to contract extensions is Oct. 31. If the Kings had not reached an agreement, they could not have signed Cousins until after this season. Cousins was the fifth overall pick in 2010 after one season at Kentucky. He led the Kings in scoring and rebounding last season but also had run-ins with coaches, teammates and even television commentators that led to questions about his maturity and worthiness of a max deal.
But new Kings ownership made it clear Cousins was the cornerstone of the franchise. After closing the deal to purchase the Kings, principal owner Vivek Ranadive’s first call was to Cousins, and he said building around him would be a priority. General Manager Pete D’Alessandro has asked for Cousins’ input on personnel, and Cousins has been in Sacramento working with the new coaching staff and teammates in preparation for next month’s training camp. Cousins averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds last season, slightly down from the 18.1 points and 11 rebounds in his second season.
There has never been any question regarding DeMarcus Cousins’ abilities on the court, making this payday an inevitability. He must now prove that he’s mature enough to handle the increased expectations that come with big money.