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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 at 7:09 pm  |  27 responses

Kings Tandem

“Evans to Cousins.” Get used to it.

by Jonathan Santiago / @ITSjonsantiago

With the exception of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s Chicago Bulls, championship contenders have always featured two crucial components: a dominant low-post force and a skilled perimeter-presence.

With the reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and this year’s fifth overall pick DeMarcus Cousins, the Sacramento Kings potentially have those pieces in position.

“This is the place I wanted to be,” Cousins said of Sacramento during his introductory press conference yesterday afternoon.  101967282AB036_2010_NBA_DRA

Playing alongside a great guard won’t be anything new for Cousins.  Having run with John Wall last season at Kentucky will surely help Cousins understand how he can work in tandem with last season’s fourth overall pick.

“Once we get to work together (and) build a chemistry,” Cousins began. “I think we’ll work out just fine.”

Cousins is no stranger to Evans’ game.  The former Kentucky standout mentioned he met Evans while the two were in high school and instantly became a fan of his play.

The Kings newest addition brings another big body defenses will have to pay attention to.  Trading for Carl Landry at last season’s deadline brought the Kings an inside-scoring presence they lacked.  Throw in the mix the shot-blocking ability of Samuel Dalembert and the freakish length of fellow-rookie Hassan Whiteside and the Kings have themselves set up quite nicely at the big positions.

“We expect there to be a lot fewer layups against us next year because of what the new players can do defensively,” Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal said with a grin during yesterday’s press conference.  “We expect to be a better rebounding team and we have more options for throwing the ball into the low-post and getting offensive rebounds.”

Questions about Cousins’ attitude affected the young big man’s draft stock.  But there’s no doubt in the former Kentucky center’s mind where he ranks among this year’s top prospects.

“I’ve had a chance to play everyone and I believe I’m the best player,” Cousins said without hesitation.

With the opportunity to add a potentially great center to a core featuring a rising star at guard, Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie made sure to do his homework.

“We spent a lot of time talking to people who have been involved with him throughout his development as a young player” Petrie said of researching Cousins.

“(We heard from) people that have no real particular axe to grind at this point or gain from what they say or don’t say,” Petrie continued.  “I think the message that came back was very consistent about him as a player and his development.  And it was nothing that was any real concern to us as far as drafting him.”

With perhaps the right pieces in place, it might be time for Kings fans to dust off those old cowbells sooner rather than later.

Jonathan Santiago also co-hosts the weekly Davis Sports Deli Podcast, which can be found here.

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  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    At the very least it is going to (hopefully) be a fun season for the Kings. We need a vet though. Someone to help calm things down when things get surly late game. I would have loved to be the wizards in the Kirk Heinrich trade…Sac coulda used him.

  • rainman10

    No love for Jason Thompson?

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Who says you need a vet? Tell that to the Thunder. With a young core of Evans, Cousins and Casspi if the Kings can continue to draft well they could make the leap in a few years.

  • Str8in It Out

    After the draft was done, I thought SAC had addressed their big man situation and their bench. They are right up there with OKC in terms of youth, depth, potential and possibly talent. They could use a veteran upgrade at the PG and wing positions. But with coaching and time to gel, this team seems built to develop, win and the Kings seem perfectly positioned to make deals via trade & free agency. As a Knicks fan, I hope my team goes this route when they inevitably strike out on this free agent class. But Walsh and D’Antoni don’t have a history of rebuilding through the draft so I won’t hold my breath.

  • http://thacorner.net/forums Kevin

    Ok I feel sorry for the other 3 guys in the starting 5, they might not ever see the ball

  • http://www.davissportsdeli.com/wordpress/ Patrick

    It’s a new era in Sactown. I can’t wait.

  • David Ball

    Sac fans be ready…you will fall in love with Boogie…he will dominate…and I guess I may have to become a Kings fan (Portland guy here…just peeved that Portland didn’t pull the trigger on Nic Batum for Minny’s 4th overall to snatch Big Cuz ahead of Sac)…think Shaq with a better shot and offensive moves (and not as big…but could be better)…you guys got a STEAL…Hassan is just icing on an already impressive cake

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    What a great pick by the Kings. And do NOT sleep on Carl Landry, dude is set to break out next year. Omri Casspi is looking really good right now at the small-forward spot too, and with ‘Reke at the combo guard 1-2, any defensive wing, and Jason Thompson (who is good enough to be a starter) coming off the bench, the Kings are set to make a playoff run in the next few years, if not right away.

  • JoeMaMa

    David Ball just said that Demarcus Cousins could be better than Shaq. Please give me some of whatever you’re drinking, Dave, because I also want to fly to the moon.
    Between Whiteside, Dalembert, Cousins, Landry, and Thompson, they’ll have some legendary battles in practice and will make each other better. Should be fun to watch! But with all the front court players, this is Tyreke’s team. 20-5-5 is once-in-a-generation.

  • riggs

    wtf is gonna happen to jason? i know he wasnt consistent last season but he had a streak of playing great ball with flashes of dominating.

  • SacNasty

    The soft & finesse era has ended. Welcom to the NASTY era. RekeHavoc+Casspi+Landry+JT+Cousisn a.k.a “the bigger nasty”+Dalembert = THE NASTY BOYS!

  • JoeMaMa

    @riggs: He’ll get minutes over Whiteside. Whiteside is a project. Also, because he’s got some wing skills, he can share time at the 4 with DC and Landry. and move to the 3 for a big line up. Nevertheless, the glut of big may impede his growth. Hopefully he sees this potential problem and busts his ass over the summer to claim minutes in training camp. Besides, I think Cousins is skilled, but with his supposed conditioning issues, he could hit the wall HARD and open up minutes for him.

  • http://www.oo.com.au Dacre

    unfortunately this is the guy to me, that gets this yeas Greg Oden award…. alot of injuries might flare up in his early career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Is Tyreke really considered a perimeter presence? I mean, he’s not that on-point with the 3′s. If he can improve on his range over the summer then I’ll start believing.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    Tyreke’s J was inconcictent last year but, YES, he is a perimeter threat.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    @Dacre: No.

  • deano

    Thompson is athletic enough to play the 4 or 5, he and Demarcus will definitely be on the floor together. Big pick for the Kings. Throw Whiteside in the mix who can swat shots and do his best Marcus Camby impersonation, and you’ve got yourself a big time front court trio. This is what is needed to compete with the Lakers out of the West. Now its up to Evans to make sure these guys are eating

  • deano

    how can you even begin to compare Cousins with the Diesel???? obscene!

  • RandOo

    @omphalos

    Even the Thunder have vets Ollie, Thomas and even Collison and Kristic have 5+ years under their belt.

  • http://www.clownpenis.com Tarzan Cooper

    Now the kings only weakness is backup guards. Beno and reke, omri, donte, cisco. Then dalembert,for a year, cuz, landry, jason, hassan.

  • rich

    should reke be at pg or sg? ive watched him and i really cant telll. is beno the reason he plays 2 or is he just not able to do it?

  • Ronald

    You put Reke at the 2. Let Beno start at PG for 1/2 court sets and let Reke be the primary option on offense and the 1st past receiver so he can make plays for you. Beno is a quiet a good shooter which helps stretch the defense.

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    Sorry but I’m not sold on Reke as more than a passing 2 guard, as opposed to a scoring 1. He’s still dope, but I wonder how his constant drives will work with whomever else they get in the future. Cousins’ offensive versatility allows him to mesh with virtually any lead option. Nets should have picked him.

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    This is not 1985. Tyreke and Beno are GUARDS. They play off each other very well. There is no traditional “1″ or “2″. Some of the best palyers in the game could not be defined by position.

  • jawjack

    7/2s-I hear what your saying but WW is right, guard positions are changing. Additionally, Reke is a good passer and his assists were increasing as the year wore on. By April, he was averaging 7 dimes so it seems to me that Reke will contribute where he is needed the most. On Whiteside, if he wants to remain relevent, he needs to work on his foul shooting to remain in the game and try to specialize on inbound pass defense, sort of like Phil Jax did with the Knicks in the days of yore.

  • CC413

    cousins will be one of the most dominant low post scorers in the nba

  • drewggrrr

    Slam needs to put tyreke and cousins on the front page “RekeDMC”

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