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Kings are just fine in post-Boogie era

By: Brandon Harrison

Skal Labissiere looks like he can be an absolute stud. The minutes opened up by Demarcus Cousins’ departure were exactly what he needed.

Let’s make one thing clear when talking about Demarcus Cousins’ time with the Sacramento Kings; he was never going to make the playoffs there. The Kings front office can be blamed for the team’s inability to provide a winning structure for Cousins to lean on and their inability to find a head coach that could get the most out of their star center. Cousins himself can also be blamed for his inability to control his emotions and cooperate with teammates and personnel that surrounded him during his tenure.

Whoever you shift the blame on, one thing is certain: Cousins and the Kings were never a good fit. Truth be told, there was not a more toxic relationship in the entire association than the one that just ended in Sacramento, but that might be okay now.

When the Kings traded arguably the best big man in the entire NBA for pennies on the dollar it was a move both parties needed. The Kings will struggle to find a player with the amount of talent Cousins had, but the shadow cast by the 6-foot-11 center has now disappeared and opened the road to a new youth movement.

Promising players like Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere, who pack loads of potential and talent, can now turn promise into production. In the 11 games since the Cousins trade, Cauley-Stein has seen his points per game rise to 13.8 and rebounding average go up to seven a game, while still maintaining a 109.7 defensive rating on the floor. Those numbers represent a stark contrast to the 5.8 and 2.7 her was averaging before the trade. Labissiere has looked like an absolute stud since the trade, averaging 22.7 points and 13.2 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Minutes for those big men were hard to come by with Cousins in town but now these prospects are making the most out of their opportunities and are showing that the future is not bleak in Sacramento. Combine that with the two potential lottery picks the Kings can have in the upcoming draft, which is being hailed as one of the deepest classes in recent memory, Kings fans can be hopeful that things will be okay.

Those who argue that the Kings almost certainly lost this trade will point to the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and Cousins that was made in New Orleans, forming one of the toughest frontcourts in the NBA. While this pairing almost seemed like a fictional trade from NBA 2, the big question still remains: can Cousins play Robin to Davis’ Batman?

With a slow start under their belt (just 4-7 since the trade), one must wonder if the two best new-age centers in the world can coexist or if the pairing will become toxic and unsustainable. With only a small sample size to look at and an entire offseason in front of them, both the Kings and Cousins have time to maximize their current situations. Any way that the cards fall in this trade, one thing can be for certain, the Kings will be okay.

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Brandon Harrison

Staff Writer
Ever since his birth, you could not find Brandon without a ball in his hands. Any sport he could find Brandon played and played very well he might add. A remarkable baseball infielder, Brandon could play with the best of the best and even earned himself a full scholarship to play for Gilman, one of the best high schools in Maryland. Unfortunately, life (read: injury) did not permit Brandon to reach his full potential on the diamond but don't tell him that as he still believes he's the next Derek Jeter, but that is neither here nor there. Nowadays, Brandon spends his time attending Morgan State University as a Sports Management major. He hopes to change the world using sports to bridge the gaps that still divide people today and one day he just might accomplish this goal, as long as he doesn't get injured trying.

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