The Sacramento Kings are exploring a contract extension with DeMarcus Cousins, and the team will meet with Cousins' agent, Dan Fegan, in the near future to discuss a new deal, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. The 22-year-old big man has been busy at the Team USA basketball mini-camp, and Fegan is working on an extension for John Wall with the Washington Wizards, but it appears that an extension for Cousins is next in line. Cousins is reportedly looking for a maximum extension, and the Kings can offer up to a five-year deal worth approximately $80 million -- that would take effect in 2014-15 -- by making him the team's Designated Player.
The deadline for signing Cousins to an early extension is October 31, and if the two sides cannot come to an agreement then the big man will become a restricted free agent on July 1, after the 2013-14 NBA season. The franchise has not been shy about expressing interest in signing the big man to a long-term deal. Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro and head coach Michael Malone made a special trip to Alabama to visit Cousins earlier this summer, and at that time the GM said he was looking forward to Cousins "being a major part of [the] team."
The big question is whether Cousins is worth max money. His talent level is high, but his attitude and effort have been called into question during his first three NBA seasons. Despite the disciplinary issues, Cousins has still posted 16.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game over 220 games. He's missed more games due to suspensions than to injury or illness. It's a gamble the Kings are in a position to take, and if Cousins figures things out he is easily one of the best big men in the NBA. It will be very interesting to see how the contract talks evolve in the upcoming weeks.