Matt York/The Associated Press


Starter: DeMarcus Cousins

Backups: Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes

The skinny: Cousins has been tabbed as the cornerstone of future success for the Kings. He's one of the most talented young big men in the NBA, but he still has a lot of work to do to become an elite player. His efficiency on offense must improve, and he has to shoot 50 percent or better. Defensively, Cousins must be more of an asset than a liability or he could watch Thompson, Hayes or even Carl Landry take his minutes late in games. The Kings would love to add a defensive-minded complement to Cousins. A shot blocker who would allow Cousins to log minutes at power forward would be ideal. Without that, it will be up to Cousins to be an anchor around the rim offensively and defensively. How he buys in on both ends of the court will dictate how much the Kings improve.

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