Published On: Sat, Aug 27th, 2016

Executive: Kings 'fooling themselves' if they think Cousins will re-sign

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The countdown to what feels like DeMarcus Cousins’ inevitable departure from the Sacramento Kings after the 2017-18 regular season is on, with the franchise running out of time to either mend broken bridges between the two sides, or trade him before he has the option to walk.

“They’re fooling themselves if they think he’s sticking around,” an NBA executive told CBS Sports’ Zach Harper. “The good news for them is his value will always be high. There isn’t a point of no return in which you’re not getting high value for him. Teams will bid against each other in the trade market. Maybe (Cousins) doesn’t go for the biggest money in free agency but you’d love to have that card to play.”

Despite having never led Sacramento to the postseason in his six years in the league, Cousins is still regarded as one of the most physically imposing and talented big men in the sport. He averaged a career-high 26.9 points during the 2015-16 campaign, along with 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 blocks in 34.6 minutes.

There’s often been some type of disconnect between Boogie and the man assigned to coach him, with Michael Malone perhaps being the only one to effectively get through to him. Management hired Dave Joerger over the summer after he was fired from the Memphis Grizzlies, representing the sixth coaching change since Cousins was selected fifth overall in the 2009 draft.

Anything could be considered an improvement over Cousins’ relationship with former coach George Karl, a match made in hell from the very beginning. Despite numerous attempts to gloss over their issues, Cousins and Karl couldn’t escape controversy. The two-time All-Star reportedly even cursed out his coach in front of the rest of the team after a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Related: Karl: Kings never made me feel supported

Cousins, who won a gold medal with the U.S. men’s Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro, will make a little under $17 million in 2016-17. That’ll jump to $18 million the following year before he hits unrestricted free agency.

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