DeMarcus Cousins Confused by Kings’ 2016 NBA Draft Strategy: "I Don’t Really Understand It"

DeMarcus Cousins says he’s confused by the Kings’ 2016 NBA Draft strategy and doesn’t “really understand it.”

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Complex Original

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The Kings were not good—again—during the 2015-16 NBA season.

Since DeMarcus Cousins joined the team back in 2010, Sacramento has failed to come anywhere close to finishing above .500, and as a result, Cousins has never made an appearance in the NBA Playoffs. Last season was especially bad due to the acrimonious relationship between Cousins and his head coach George Karl (you can see examples of it here, here, here, here, and here), and it led to Karl getting canned immediately after the regular season ended.

Could Cousins be the next one to leave? He won't be able to become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2018, but if you take a look at the Kings' 2016 draft class, it's pretty clear that the writing might be on the wall with regards to Cousins' future in Sacramento. During the NBA Draft in June, the Kings traded away their eighth overall pick, Washington forward Marquese Chriss, to the Suns. They then drafted Georgios Papagiannis​, a center out of Greece, as well as Skal Labissiere​, a power forward/center who played at Kentucky, and added them to a frontcourt that already includes center Willie Cauley-Stein, center Kosta Koufos, and, of course, Cousins. They later added a guard in Malachi Richardson, but still, it's clear their goal was to get bigger through the draft.

That didn't make Cousins too happy. While the draft was going on, he sent out this tweet following the Papagiannis pick:

Lord give me the strength 🙏🏿

— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) June 24, 2016

And although he later said it was in reference to a yoga class he was taking, pretty much everyone still assumed that it was about the Kings' decision to select yet another big man.

ESPN decided to go straight to the source on Monday after a Team USA practice in Las Vegas to ask Cousins about the tweet. And while he didn't openly admit to being unhappy with the Kings' recent draft selections, he did say that he didn't understand the direction they went in during the draft.

"I can't control [the draft decisions]," he said. "I control what I can control. I don't really understand it, but I do my job."

Cousins continued to do his job last season—averaging a career high in points with 26.9 per game and grabbing 11.5 rebounds per contest—but it didn't get him anywhere. So the question now is: How much longer is he going to be a member of the Kings organization? It may be out of his hands, but it feels like it'll only be a matter of time before Cousins is packing his bags for one reason or another.

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