Armchair Countdown to Tip-Off: #16 DeMarcus Cousins


Position Rank: C #1

Team Rank: Kings #1

This will probably be one of the more controversial rankings on this countdown, but I’m basing most of this on upside. DeMarcus Cousins can easily be the best center in the NBA. There are very few, if any, players that can guard him in the post when he is on. He is big, athletic, has great footwork and terrific touch. He’s also a very good rebounder. When he puts it all together, he can be a franchise centerpiece. However, that’s where the issue comes in. The if. Cousins has been labeled as a bad teammate and a locker room cancer due to his bad attitude. This can’t all be on him, though. Sure, he could give more consistent effort, especially on defense, but with the way the Kings are run, I’d say he’s justified not being in a chipper mood all the time. Another place Cousins needs to improve is his shot selection. He took 16 percent of his shots from three last season, which is about 16 percent too high. For a big man, he has shot a career 46 percent from the field, due in large part to bad mid-range and three-point attempts. The Kings probably won’t make the playoffs this season due to poor management, but Cousins is talented enough to lead them there. He just needs a couple pieces that actually fit with him. Let’s free Boogie of this mess.

As the offseason winds down, Joe Stephens will be counting you down to the 2016-2017 NBA season by unveiling the top 50 players of 2016, one day at a time. To see previous posts in the countdown, click here.

Don’t agree with our rankings? Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @branchstephens.

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