By Vince Ellis
Free Press Sports Writer
Fans around here probably were giddy if they saw Saturday’s New York Daily News note that the Detroit Pistons were looking to move up from the No. 7 spot in next month’s NBA draft in hopes of landing Kentucky big man Demarcus Cousins.
The thinking is that Cousins can be had if the Pistons can move into the No. 4-5 range (currently occupied by the Timberwolves and Kings).
Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars
has said several times that all options are open. Pistons officials get excited about Cousins because he’s a legitimate center and would give sorely needed balance to the perimeter-oriented roster.
But what if the Pistons don’t move at all and still somehow land Cousins?
Although it still remains unlikely because genuine centers are hard to find, Cousins didn’t seem to help himself at this week’s predraft combine in Chicago.
There are issues about his conditioning. Reports suggest the 6-foot-11 Cousins has been working hard in this area since the season ended, but he weighed in at a robust 291 pounds with 16.4% body fat — the second-most among the 52 prospects measured. It raises the fear that Cousins could eat himself out of the league.
But that’s not even the No. 1 concern. There are worries about his maturity. During interviews, he blamed the media for his reputation without taking personal responsibility.