Discussion

The draft keys for Cousins, Samhan

Updated: June 2, 2010, 1:45 AM ET
By David Thorpe

Getting drafted is not at all a concern for DeMarcus Cousins. He's probably guaranteed to be one of the top two overall prospects in this draft, no matter who declares, and would be on every top-five list that's based on talent. And that holds true for just about any draft.

His combination of size, hands and ability to get buckets is very, very special. I typically watch multiple NBA games every night. And whenever I see Cousins play I think of Zach Randolph and Al Jefferson, only taller (with a little Pau Gasol mixed in). And just so you know, those first two guys are among the very best low-post scorers in basketball today, worldwide.

In the draft, getting a post player who can really score is one of the best ways to upgrade a team, as low-post scorers are not nearly as prevalent as they once were. But drafting Cousins seems as much of a risk now as it did six months ago when he started playing at Kentucky and the red flags started waving.

I sat there in shock watching him get into at least two verbal spats with Kentucky head coach John Calipari in the Elite Eight. To beat a team as mature and tough as West Virginia, Kentucky needed to have 100 percent of its players' and coaches' attention on the game, with a single-minded purpose. That wasn't possible with Cousins acting out in those situations. Was it the reason the Wildcats lost? To my eyes, it was every bit as important as all those missed 3s. And therein lies the problem with Cousins.

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