Kings Blog

Training camp preview: Who will backup DeMarcus Cousins this season?

With training camp opening Sept. 27, we take a look at questions the Kings will have address during the preseason.

We start with center, where there are no questions about who will hold the position down for Sacramento.

It’s all about who will play when Boogie is on the bench for a breather.

DeMarcus Cousins had one of the most dominant individual seasons in recent years for the Kings, averaging 22.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in 32.4 minutes.

Cousins missed 10 games last season due to injury, and his absence exposed how much the Kings lacked in a backup on both ends of the floor (yes, the Kings missed Cousins on defense).

Minutes behind Cousins shouldn’t be a major concern unless he’s injured. He made strides to stay out of foul trouble and as long as his conditioning and fouls aren’t issues, look for Cousins’ playing time to increase.

Jason Thompson appears to be the logical choice to backup Cousins. That’s the role he finished the season in after losing his starting job at power forward.

Thompson is more effective when Cousins is not on the floor on offense because they like to operate in similar spaces on the floor. When Cousins is in the game, there’s not much need for Thompson’s offense as a primary option.

Bringing Thompson off the bench allows the Kings to have some more scoring with the second unit.

Thompson could still win the starting power forward job, even though the preference is to not play him and Cousins together. After all, doesn’t Thompson always end up the starting power forward

Ryan Hollins is also an option to play behind Cousins, largely because he’s different from Thompson and Cousins.

Hollins can be the athletic, shot blocking big the Kings need want in limited minutes. He could also allow Cousins to play a few minutes at power forward depending on match ups.

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