The bad news for the Mavericks from the blockbuster deal that shipped DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans is that they play the Kings only one more time this season at Sacramento on April 4.
If they had three more meetings with the league’s newest worst team and that’s covering some ground they might have a fighting chance at climbing up the Western Conference standings.
It’s time to give up the pipe dream of chasing the playoffs which, by the way, Mark Cuban and his management team probably did weeks ago. Keep playing the Young jersey cheaper talent as much as you can without insulting your proud veterans, because this really has turned into “one of those seasons.”
It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the Mavericks didn’t get out of the batter’s box, much less to first base, when it came to flirtations about Cousins. As immense as his talent is, sometimes other considerations jump out.
An NBA general manager from back in the ’90s once told me that talent trumps everything in the league. If Jack the Ripper could get him 20 and 10 every night, the GM said, he’d be in uniform today.
That’s not necessarily the standard operating procedure with the Mavericks, who made inquiries about the Cousins situation over the past couple of weeks.
No tires go unkicked in this league.
“We talked to them,” owner Mark Cuban said. “When we did, they told us they weren’t trading him.”
Cousins would have been a huge gamble and let’s be frank, the Mavericks probably didn’t possess the assets the Kings would have wanted unless Harrison Barnes was involved with other Young jersey cheap players and picks.
When the Kings came through Dallas in early December and destroyed the Mavericks, Cousins had 24 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and hit both of his 3 pointers. The Kings won by 31.
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finally decided Cousins was more trouble than he’s worth. Cousins is one of the rare NBA players who has been suspended for having too many technical fouls. He’s a hothead, and his presence in the locker room would require periodic massaging.
Asked if he would like Cousins a lot better in a Mavericks’ uniform, he said: “No thanks. More trouble than he’s worth.”
That’s what the Kings finally decided.
Yes, Rick Carlisle probably could have made it work. The Mavericks don’t have any real head cases in the locker room right now. You can handle one knucklehead, as the saying goes. Any more than that and it’s like putting too many jalapeos in the recipe. And Cousins is one of the rare NBA players who has been suspended for having too many technical fouls. He’s a hothead. And his presence in the locker room would require periodic massaging.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks are lottery bound. They will see Cousins and the Pelicans on Saturday at American Airlines Center. New Orleans, one half game ahead of the Mavericks at 11th in the West, suddenly is the favorite to pick off the eighth spot. Denver, currently eighth, also will remain in the running.
The Mavericks? They are three games behind Denver. They also trail the Pelicans, Kings and Blazers. That’s too many teams to leapfrog, especially when two of them have added nice pieces (Cousins to the Pels, Mason Plumlee to the Nuggets).