The Kings and center DeMarcus Cousins have agreed to terms on a four-year, $62 million maximum rookie contract extension, according to the Sacramento Bee and Yahoo! Sports. The deal does not include any player or team options, USA Today Sports reports.
Cousins, 23, averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals for the Kings last season, his third with the team. The No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft after going one-and-done at Kentucky, Cousins' PER of 20.2 ranked in the top 10 among centers last season.
The extension will kick in for the 2014-15 season and run through the 2017-18 season. Cousins will make $4.9 million in the final year of his rookie contract in 2013-14. Once his new deal kicks in, Cousins will be one of the league's highest-paid centers.
The Point Forward ranked Cousins No. 53 on our Top 100 Players of 2014 list and earlier this summer The Point Forward's Rob Mahoney wrote that Cousins was deserving of a max rookie extension despite his immaturity and limitations as a defender.
One of the league's most volatile players, Cousins received a league-leading 15 technical fouls last season. His list of run-ins with the NBA league office and referees was a long one: he was suspended two games for a post-game incident with Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott, he was suspended one game for a low blow on Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, he was suspended for one game by the Kings for "unprofessional behavior," he was ejected for delivering a flagrant foul 2 to Mavericks guard/forward Vince Carter, he was ejected for arguing with the officials at halftime of a game against the Jazz and he was ejected for a flagrant elbow to Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy.
Although Cousins' deal is reportedly for maximum money, it does not extend for a full five-year term, meaning Sacramento still possesses its "designated player" extension for potential use on another player.
The obvious comparison points for this extension are the four-year, $58 million deal signed by Pacers center Roy Hibbert and the four-year, $61 million deal signed by Nets center Brook Lopez. Both deals were completed last summer.
While Cousins has had discipline issues and squabbles with his coaches throughout his tenure in Sacramento, new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive made it clear that locking up his franchise center would be a top priority this summer. Cousins will play for Michael Malone this season, marking his third coach since 2011.
Having missed the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, Sacramento clearly reached the conclusion that life with Cousins was preferable to live without him. Financially, the Kings are in a position where they can easily be under the salary cap in Year 1 of Cousins' extension and their current commitments past the 2014-15 season are very limited.