Kings pick: DeMarcus Cousins (5th), Hassan Whiteside (33rd)
DeMarcus Cousins was considered to be one of the very best players available in 2010 with one main downside: his attitude. Cousins’ attitude is one of the biggest detractors of his game to this day.
Nevertheless, the Kings did great with this pick. From 2015 to his Achilles injury in 2018, Cousins was widely considered to be the best center in the NBA. While he never led the team to more than 33 wins in a single season, he rarely had much help, and eventually was traded for the core assets on the team today.
Hassan Whiteside played a combined 19 games for Sacramento in his first two seasons. Not being fit for the NBA, he was assigned to the D-League. He spent two years out of the association and was welcomed back by the Miami Heat once LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland.
Whiteside peaked in 2016-17 where he averaged 17.0 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He was one of the top centers in the league, but has since been played out of the Heat’s starting lineup. Whiteside seemingly wants out of Miami, and I’m sure the Heat would be fine with moving on, but there are likely very few teams interested in that contract.
Who they missed
This is one of the few instances where they did the best they could’ve with their picks. Hassan Whiteside, despite his current struggles, is far and away the best play to come out of the second round. Instead of Cousins in the first, the Kings could have chosen:
Whether Cousins or George has been better through their career is up in the air, but the Kings’ scouting team did a fantastic job in 2010.