Things have been relatively quiet on the DeMarcus Cousins front since earlier this summer when it was first reported that Cousins wanted a max extension. The new Kings front office and ownership has said nothing but good things about Cousins since taking over and have basically anointed him as the franchise cornerstone.
Now it appears that they are prepared to back up their words with cash. A lot of cash.
Two sources told ESPN.com that Cousins could actually have a deal wrapped up before the Kings open training camp next week in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Stein does go on to say that a max extension is not a foregone conclusion, but it's very likely that any extension for Cousins will be at or near-max. The biggest contract he can get is around 5 years and $78.8 million. If my research is correct, that would be the second-biggest contract ever handed out to a Sacramento King, with only Chris Webber's deal being higher*
* Mike Bibby's deal was technically higher than Cousins but was over 7 years not 5
That is a huge investment to make in a player that hasn't really proved anything yet. Nonetheless, it appears to be happening, for better or worse.
The Bee's Jason Jones wrote on Twitter:
Kings know/believe Cousins is a "max" player and know that's what they'll have to pay him eventually.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) September 23, 2013
The internal debate has been whether to extend Cousins now or wait until the offseason. Pros/cons both ways, but Vivek loves Cousins.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) September 23, 2013
In Stein's article, he mentions that there is a "strong sentiment" to get the deal done before the season so it doesn't become an issue during the season.