The Kings officially announced today that they have signed rookie Isaiah Cousins. Cousins was taken with the 59th pick in last season’s draft after playing four seasons at the University of Oklahoma. Yahoo!’s Shams Charania reported earlier that Cousins’ deal is for one year and is only partially guaranteed. In layman’s terms, that means Cousins basically has a training camp contract and will have to earn his spot on the roster. He’ll be competing with two other training camp invitees in Ty Lawson and Lamar Patterson for Sacramento’s final roster spot, as well as anyone else the Kings sign from now on.
The likelihood that Cousins makes the team for opening night is pretty low in my opinion. He would have to beat out two players with far more experience than him, but then again, one of those players is Ty Lawson, and who knows what could happen with him come a month from now given his prior history. It also seems unlikely that the Kings would want to have four rookies on the roster (Georgios Papagiannis, Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere all will make the team due to the guaranteed contract structure for first round picks).
The most likely outcome for the Kings in regards to Cousins is that he is one of the final preseason cuts before the roster must be at 15 players and he either signs overseas or decides to stick it out in the D-League with the Reno Bighorns. Cousins wasn’t all that impressive in Las Vegas Summer League, but also was dealing with injury issues at the time. He’ll need a much better showing to earn a spot on the team itself. Training camp will begin later this month with the first preseason games taking place in early October.