Kings

Has Cousins turned a corner under Smart?

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Has Cousins turned a corner under Smart?

What a difference a coach makes. Let's go back to January 1, when then Kings head coach Paul Westphal commented about his (at the time) troubled young center, DeMarcus Cousins."When a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwillingunable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely. DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded."Cousins said this to Fox Sports Florida yesterday, re-stating what he had said after Westphal's New Year's day comments:
"I did not ask for a trade. That's what he said, and that's what the story got put out. I just had to take that one on the chin. There wasn't much I could really say. I don't really understand what his motives were, but that's what he said."
The Kings essentially sided with the talented 21-year-old Cousins in his battle with Westphal and fired the head coach on Jan. 5 after he posted a 51-120 record in two-plus seasons with Sacramento.Enter Kings assistant and former Warriors head coach Keith Smart, who was handed the reigns of what looked like a bad job -- a losing team, disgruntled star player, and the cloud of a potential Kings move hanging over Sacramento.
Cousins on his new head coach:
"It's been incredible. I've learned a lot. I've become a better player just from him taking over some things, and I enjoy playing in the system. Everything is great. Everything has been positive."Eveything except the wins and losses, of course. The Kings are struggling with a 10-22 record and are in the middle of a six-game losing streak.Cousins and Smart however, are seemingly in the middle of a love-fest.In fact, Cousins told Fox Sports Florida that he has given Smart his keypad code to his gated community so his coach can come and visit him as he pleases. And according to the story, the two recently enjoyed Gumbo prepared by the player's family at Cousins' house.
The Gumbo dinners might be paying off, at least as Cousins' stat line is concerned.RELATED: DeMarcus Cousins game logs Stats Splits NewsIn 24 games under Smart, Cousins' numbers have improved from his playing-under-Westphal days. His points per game are up from 14.1 to 17.4; his rebounds are up from 8.7 to 11.8; field goal percentage is up from 42.7 to 46.1 since Keith Smart took over.The answers are in the events, and Cousins' elevated numbers have to be considered good news for Kings fans. But perhaps an even better sign is Cousins acknowledging that it's about wins in the NBA, not individual stats.
"They're impressive numbers. But, at the same time, we're not collecting wins."

Has DeMarcus Cousins turned a corner in his professional career and is Keith Smart
his catalyst for change? Or is this just a temporary correction in the career of a highly-talented but ultimately a "me-first" player as has been widely reported?

The answers will be in the events.

You can link to the full Fox Sports story on DeMarcus Cousins here

Geoff James is a writer and web producer for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

Report: Kings meeting with former Magic, Warriors exec

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AP

Report: Kings meeting with former Magic, Warriors exec

In their search for Scott Perry's replacement, the Kings have spoken with the former GM of the Orlando Magic.

Otis Smith, who served as the Magic GM from 2006 to 2012, reportedly met with the Kings about their recently-vacated VP of basketball operations job.

News of the meeting for was first reported by ESPN.

Perry left the Kings this month to become the GM of the Knicks.

Smith has ties to Northern California. As a player, Smith's rights were sold by the Nuggets to the Warriors in 1987. He played in 137 games over two seasons with the Warriors.

After his playing days were over, Smith joined the Warriors' front office as the executive director of basketball operations.

Currently, Smith is the director of player development and an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons.

Report: Deal in China for ex-Kings guard worth more than his NBA minimum

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AP

Report: Deal in China for ex-Kings guard worth more than his NBA minimum

Jimmer Fredette is reportedly going back to China.

Fredette agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks worth $1.8 million annually, according to David Pick.

Fredette has accrued five years of NBA service.

The minimum NBA salary for Fredette in 2017-18 would be...

$1,709,538.

The Kings selected Fredette with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

He averaged 7.6 points per game as a rookie and 7.2 points in Year 2.

Sacramento waived Fredette in February 2014.

Over 50 games with the Pelicans in 2014-15, he averaged 3.6 points per game and shot below 19 percent from deep.

He did not see any action against the Warriors in the opening round of the 2015 playoffs.

In China last year, Fredette averaged 37.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest.

He scored 73 points on Feb. 19.