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Geoff Petrie Not At All Concerned About DeMarcus Cousins’ Ability To Fit In

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Geoff Petrie Not At All Concerned About DeMarcus Cousins’ Ability To Fit In
June 28, 2010 – 10:10 am by Michael Bean
Quietly…very quietly…the Sacramento Kings are going about their business restoring their talent pool back to a place where they can hope to contend once more in the rugged Western Conference.  Last year the Kings improved thanks to drafting Tyreke Evans, who of course was last year’s Rookie of the Year. Now Sacramento welcomes in two more highly touted prospects – DeMarcus Cousins, who the Kings selected at No. 5, and Hassan Whiteside a 7′ big with an insane 7’7″ wingspan out of Marshall that fell to the Kings in the second round. No, the Kings likely won’t be legitimate contenders to make any sort of playoff noise this coming season, if they even make it to the playoffs, but they’re well on their way towards fielding a mighty competitive and versatile squad in future years.

Petrie joined KHTK in Sacramento to talk about being pleased with the Kings’ draft picks, how it’s impossible to truly evaluate a draft class for several years, what they liked from DeMarcus Cousins when they brought him in for pre-draft workouts, being pleased for the second year in a row that the guy they wanted fell to them, getting Hassan Whiteside in the second round when they thought they maybe would have to move up into the late first round to acquire him, how the Summer League action looming in Vegas will be particularly interesting and beneficial for the Kings organization and its players, and how he has nothing to say about being linked to the recent opening for the Portland GM gig.
On if he was pleased with the Kings’ draft:
“I always joke with people that they’re always good when you pick them. But we feel very, very good and we’re excited that we were able yesterday to pick DeMarcus Cousins and then ultimately Hassan Whiteside in the second round. But DeMarcus is a terrific center prospect, he’s got great hands, quick feet, great feel, skilled, obviously is one of the most, if not the most talented freshman in the country this year. And we’re just really excited to add him to the team.”
On if they were impressed by Cousins’ workout and made up their mind right then and there:
“Well I can’t say…I think it helped with us continuing to form an opinion about him. I mean in those individual w0rkouts, you can certainly identify skill levels that you’re good at, but it’s not competitive. You can’t do the old put a man on him and see how he does type thing. But I think like in Tyreke’s case, he was here for two workouts – he had an individual workout and then we had a group workout that had a lot of the other top point guards in it. I just think overall as we continued to do our work on DeMarcus, what he did do here was impressive and it just made a lot of sense for us trying to rebuild our front line to get an interior player who can also shoot from the perimeter to add to our team going forward.”
On if they were ecstatic that they were going to be able to get Cousins much like they were when Evans fell to them a year ago:
“I’d say it was similar for sure. We had a pretty good read on the first three picks prior to the draft and the morning. And felt like we had a decent sense of what was happening at four. But you just never know. There’s a lot of that liar’s poker thing going on and then there’s always the odd chance that as teams continue to talk that some trade develops at the 11th hour that changes what a team might do as far as picking for somebody else. So you’re sitting there and you finally come to a consensus and then the waiting gets to be a little anxious at times. But when Minnesota took Wesley Johnson at four, we knew what we wanted to do.”
On not having to trade up to get back into the first round to select Hassan Whiteside, something they had mentioned as a possibility:
“Well that’s one of the vagaries of the draft – everybody evaluates talent a little differently. Sometimes you have a little more information about one player than another, we had Whiteside in for two workouts, he’s certainly a young forward prospect, I think that at the end of the day is exceptionally athletic, he’s got tremendous shot blocking skills, and already is a very good shooter. So I think over the course of the next several years, as he develops, we could have a very fine player there. It’s just one of those things that happened in the draft. Can he turn into a Cliff Robinson or somebody like that? The future will tell us, but sometimes those bigs down in the second round turn out to be better than you think.”
On if the Kings’ draft changes the organization’s plans for the upcoming free agency period:
“Well we’re definitely going to look at what opportunities are there for us, but we’ve been pretty consistent in that unless something were to present itself that we felt would really give us a significant incremental boost, we’ll probably be in a pretty restrained mode and see what happens. But to commit those kind of long-term dollars and the amounts that sometimes get involved there, with where we are and trying to develop a young roster, I just think we’d have to feel very, very good that we  were going to get a huge leap in performance.”
On how important he thinks Summer Leagues will be for this Kings’ team this year:
“Well I think it’s important. First of all it’s sort of a mid-way point in the offseason and you get a chance to see where your players are physically, get some early sense with the players you drafted about what they’re good at, how they may or may not fit into various types of play, and there’s so many teams in Vegas – I think there’s close to 20 teams now – so you get a real perspective on a lot of other young players and young free agent players as well. So that’s a great time over there.”
On if he could elaborate on his comment that they did a more thorough background check on Cousins than they’ve ever done on a player before:

“A little bit. We do a lot of work just in general. But we hire our own people to go out and do background work that’s unrelated to the sort of mainstream people that you would talk to. We went back and talked to a number of people that coached him, were around him when he was growing up back in Mobile, in addition to all the regular sources. And then we had two extensive interviews with him, we do personality evaluations and things like that. So there’s a lot of information there, and I think in general, no matter where it came from, the same general observations and comments were pretty consistent amongst a wide variety of people that have had some interaction with him.”
On being linked to the Portland job:
“Well I addressed it last week on another show. I don’t know anything about that; it’s just something that’s from my position that just shows up out there and is just blowing in the wind. But I have a commitment here, I have a contract here, and that’s the only focus that I have.”

Listen here to Petrie with The Rise Guys on KHTK in Sacramento
Tags: 2010 NBA Draft Grades, DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside, how good will DeMarcus Cousins be?, KHTK, Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Kings Draft grades

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