Ranking the Top 5 Most High-Risk, High-Reward NBA Players

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2. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

April 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts after he was called for a technical foul in the first quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins is a huge part of whatever success the Sacramento Kings enjoy while they have him. He’s an effective and exciting young center with a lot of talent and upside. He averages 16.3 points-per-game on his career.  He averaged 17.1 this past season. That’s good for a 20.21 PER, along with his 9.9 rebounds-pergame.  That makes for a promising career ahead of a young player.  More to his credit, he shoots 71.0 percent from the charity stripe, perfectly respectable for players at his position.

However, his attitude tends to make him a risk factor to rival that promising upside. He led the season in technical fouls at 17, and trails only Sanders in ejections with four to Sander’s five. He has seven on his career. He also shoots 44.8 percent from the field, a bit low for a center, and averages 4.7 turnovers per game, good for tied with James Harden at third in the NBA.

This player has a bright future ahead, but he needs to make sure to remember that cooler heads prevail.  He’s no good to his team if he’s losing the ball, missing shots, benched in foul trouble or sitting in the locker room ejected.