These two guys couldn't be anymore different as one fills in the necessary points in the paint and rebounding and possibly defensive flaws in the Kings system; while the other helps the offense by a great margin and looks to be a "safer" pick.
When I first started my research I had no idea that Samuel Dalambert would become a part of this team, and his acquisition changed my mindset in the last piece. Therefore, I had to do more research and this helped be get an absolute understanding of who is the better fit/choice. This is my opinion and you are welcome to disagree/hate on it as much as you possibly want, but all I ask is that the criticism be constructive.
Anyway, lets get down to business. First, you have Demarcus Cousins a guy who is tagged with numerous red flags and his passion towards the game as well as his maturity and weight are questioned. Now, I want you to remember what your attitude was when you were 19 years old. Then Imagine a bunch of Wiley, rowdy, and ignorant fans blew up your cellphone (your own private phone number, mind you) with racist epithets. Cousins dealt with that in stride and took his anger out on the court as he mocked the team every time he scored. Also, lets say you had 16.5% body fat and in the span of one month you were able to cut it down to 13%; everyone that knew you would be praising your determination to getting into shape. Lets look up a word: passion- Intense emotion: Intense or overpowering emotion such as love, joy, hatred or anger. He properly addressed his weight problems by going on a seafood diet and working out constantly and consistently. Not only that, but he has also spoken openly to the media types that have labeled him as a dangerous pick. Cousins has worked incredibly hard on getting into shape and really demonstrating his love for the game and he has been rewarded. Clearly Cousins must have had some kind of drive to reduce his body fat by 3%, answer repetitive questions, and that he is not the player most people are making him out to be. His obvious desire to be the number one pick can also be attributed to his self-confidence and motivation. Also, Cousins is definitely the kind of player that takes being passed up; in the draft personally; this is something that could give him that killer-instinct needed to be a franchise player. To take a look at the few players that have had the ice in their veins include: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and that is only to list a few. Also, notice how none of the three were taken with the first pick in their respective drafts.
Now that we have the personality concerns out of the way, we can look at Cousins' talents. He is a behemoth of a player and his 16.7/40 further solidifies that fact. The Kings need a low-post scorer; someone that can not only score off of put-backs, but also has the back to basket skills needed in a contending team. Every team that has won a championship has had a down low threat whether it be Bill Russel, Shaq, David Robinson, or Ben Wallace, you need someone that can consistently give you shots at the basket. Also, the Kings pulled down defensive boards at an averaged rate, and this is something Cousins can help out in. If you really want to see how important rebounds are in winning a championship all you need to do is watch the 2010 NBA finals again; the team that won the rebound battle won every game. Plus, Cousins did a tremendous job at getting fouled, which means that he deftly drew a double team. If Cousins can improve his passing then you can and would be seeing Thompson improving his points in the paint. Lastly, Cousins demonstrated that he can hit the 12-15 foot jumpshot and this spaces the floor better than it ever did during the time Hawes was here. The reason I say this is because when Hawes was here the entire team was basically on the perimeter as they watched either Landry or Evans cut and go for an easy deuce. Now, Evans can assuredly dump it into the post and expect Cousins to either score, find Jt for an easy shot, have Evans re-post him, or find Beno/Casspi/Greene open for a wide open three. Cousins was never known for his ability to dominate a game, but with a point guard/player of Evans' magnitude you can safely assume that everyone on the court will play better. Cousins has that "it" so to speak, that can allow him to become a franchise player. At the very least, Cousins will develop into an all-star, and we all known how an all-star tandem of pg/C or pg/pf goes. Evans is a unique talent that inst found in many other places in the league, playing second fiddle to him is like being the star of the team in its own. The last thing I want to say about this is it should be interesting to watch how Thompson plays alongside a good defending center and with a legitimate post threat.
Now we look at Wes Johnson and the concerns over/about his age. As I said previously, there should be no reason that your game doesn't improve when you are constantly working hard on improving it. You can always refine your game each and every year, and if you want an example just look at how Channing Frye progressed this season. Granted he might have been in a system perfect for that, but what is to stop Johnson from developing into the mold of play that PW exhibits? I summed up most of my thought about Johnson in my last piece; partly because I did more extensive research. Just to rehash, Johnson's addition could provide for a more intriguing roster as Landry goes back to the bench and the team makes up for its defensive inefficiencies by adding Dalambert and it also improves its game in the paint. To some, Johnson is the safer pick and some of this is justifiable; he is certainly the better athlete and is quite possibly more mature than Cousins when considering his age. Quite literally though, the amount of problems Cousins fix Johnson fixes as well. Johnson can help out in the points in the paint like Cousins, can create as much spacing as cousins, though he might not be able to board as well, he can still help out. When you look at the big picture and compare these two; the things that they add are very different but the way the do it is possibly a wash.
If you told me three weeks ago that Cousins was available as the fifth pick in the draft I would have invariably have said draft him and worry about the repercussions later. After all, when drafting the rule of thumb is to draft based on talent and not need, and before I did countless hours of research, Cousins was definitely the more talented pick. Now, does this mean that Cousins is less talented than Johnson? Well, no, but it also doesn't make Petrie's job any easier. Three weeks later, when considering that the Kings have a paint player in Dalambert, someone who is also a reliable rebounder, I cant help but think that Wes Johnson makes more sense, but that is also a drafting based on necessity. I have come to the conclusion that what both players provide are essentially equal in a sense, but I'd take either or or in this case. Both of them have their individual aspects that make them great and it really comes down to who is left; whether it be Johnson or Cousins, but because I hate to cop out I'd take Cousins because he has the potential of becoming a franchise player one day.
Who would you rather see in a Kings uniform next year?
Wes Johnson (10 votes)
Demarcus Cousins (86 votes)
96 total votes