Heading into the 2010 NBA Draft, DeMarcus Cousins was clearly the player Pistons fans coveted most. After ending up with Greg Monroe as a consolation prize, I’m sure that most feel the team did OK for itself.
Today in the daily 5-on-5 roundtable, five writers revisited the Cousins vs. Monroe debate:
Tim Donahue, 8 Points, 9 Seconds: Cousins gets the nod here for playing a much greater role with his Kings. He’s pretty inefficient, which is troubling, but he’s a dazzling talent. Still, Monroe looks very promising, and could realistically end up being the better, more reliable player over the course of his career. Just not right now.
Bret LaGree, Hoopinion: Greg Monroe. Monroe will never carry a heavy offensive role like Cousins should, and Cousins might become the more valuable player because of that. Monroe had the better rookie season, though.
Ian Levy, Two-Man Game: Cousins was ranked 50 spots higher, but I’d rather have Monroe. In their rookie seasons, Monroe was a better offensive rebounder and more efficient scorer, and he turned the ball over on fewer of his possessions. Cousins is undoubtedly more skilled, but right now Monroe is getting more out of his skills. To me, that’s the definition of value.
Chris Palmer, ESPN The Magazine: Cousins. Monroe has an elegant pass-first game and could eventually develop into a highly effective shooter. But Cousins’ power, size and skill make him potentially unstoppable. He’s an ’80s-style enforcer who trades on intimidation and has a rapidly improving 17-footer. Could be the second-best center in the league in two years.
Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksetball: Cousins. Oddly enough, Cousins’ personality may be his biggest advantage over Monroe. Cousins will never have a problem demanding the ball and getting up lots of shots. Monroe’s passiveness makes it difficult to imagine him taking on a much larger role. It’s easier to envision Cousins making more shots than it is Monroe demanding more.
Three out of five prefer Cousins. Admittedly, I still think Cousins has more upside than Monroe, but that doesn’t mean I’d swap them. Cousins does still have some trouble controlling his emotions and struggled with turnovers last season. But it is impressive how, in just one year, Monroe has closed the perceived gap between he and Cousins so much. Remember, heading into that draft, Monroe wasn’t even the consensus No. 2 big man in the draft — Derrick Favors was much more highly regarded.
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