If there was ever a chance that DeMarcus Cousins would be traded before this February’s deadline, it died with the inclusion of the Designated Player Exception in the new CBA.
Because of the new rule, which comes with stipulations, Cousins will be eligible to receive a five-year extension from the Sacramento Kings this summer that’s worth an excess of $200 million.
The Kings, for their part, plan to offer him that deal. And he plans to accept it, according to CSN California’s James Ham:
DeMarcus Cousins is about to get paid. A published report over the weekend had the Sacramento Kings preparing a mega extension offer to the 26-year-old big.
CSN California has confirmed through a league source that the two sides have tossed around numbers and that barring a late change in direction by either side, Cousins intends to sign a massive, max-money extension, estimated at roughly $207 million during the offseason that will keep the big man in a Kings uniform long-term.
It was always going to be tough, if impossible, for Cousins to turn down that kind of coin—which will come on top of next year’s $17(ish) million salary. And that’s the point of the DPE: to give incumbent teams an even better chance of keeping stars they drafted for the life of their prime.
Cousins can, of course, take the money this summer and then try to force a trade in the middle of next season, whenever he could be eligible to do so. But the Kings still come out on top in that scenario. A superstar under contract for the next five-and-a-half seasons would command a pretty penny on the chopping block.
So Cousins wins. Sacramento wins. Everybody wins—except for those who were hoping against hope their favorite team would be able to trade for Cousins this year.