April 07, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts after the play against the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Grizzlies won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings Should Lock Up DeMarcus Cousins Long Term

Could there be a scenario in 2014 that would see the Sacramento Kings trade center DeMarcus Cousins? The many questions surrounding Cousins attitude could potentially open up an avenue out of the capital. In 2014, Cousins is slated to be a restricted free agent which means other teams will be able to offer him contracts.

The Kings new ownership has indicated they would like to retain their talented big man. There have been rumors of the Kings sending personnel to Cousins’ hometown in Mobile, Alabama to dig a little deeper into his background in lieu of offering him a max contract. If the contract situation drags out into 2014, Kings fans could be faced with losing the face of their franchise.

The new ownership has shown signs of being very conscientious when it comes to handling the business side of the team, and that in of itself should set the Kings fans mind to rest. Majority owner Vivek Ranadive has a good reputation in the business world and Kings fans should breathe a sigh of relief with that knowledge. The recent additions to the team namely Greivis Vasquez and Ben McLemore should help convince everyone that the ownership has their eye on the prize.

I don’t believe the ownership will let the contract situation become a distraction and finalize a deal this year. While Cousins appears to be a headache, his talent on the court is undeniable. I can’t foresee the Kings willing to part with the cornerstone of their franchise. Poachers like the Lakers will have to look elsewhere for their players. The Kings will stand pat and hold onto their linchpin.

Cousins recently came out and affirmed that he wants to stay in Sacramento and help the franchise get back to its winning ways. All signs are currently pointing to a long marriage between the kings and the former Kentucky Wildcat.

The issue with Cousins has rarely been his play, it has almost always been his attitude. For a 22-year-old, being forced into the role of celebrity is sometimes harsh. Athletes and sports players don’t choose to be role models, but they are forced to be one as a result of their influence on impressionable minds. Whether or not the Kings are convinced that Cousins can mature into the leader they envision him to be will determine the future of this franchise.

Cousins is eligible for a contract extension this offseason. While it is not clear if the Kings are willing to offer him the max contract, what is clear is that an unhappy player would be a distraction to a rebuilding franchise. I don’t believe the Kings will let the situation deteriorate by letting him play on his rookie contract. I sincerely believe they are invested in their center and see a promising future ahead.

Tags: Ben McLemore DeMarcus Cousins Greivis Vasquez Kentucky Wildcats Sacramento Kings Vivek Ranadive

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