So - this is my big issue with Cousins. I agree that he is a reasonably good rebounder.
I disagree with the premise that, "he is on a bad team, and therefore will be better on another team."
If he were a wing, this argument might hold water. However, as a Center, his job is going to be, more or less, exactly the same wherever he does it. Take, for example, Al Jefferson ...he has had more years in the league, and has basically been the same player wherever he's been.
Same with Shaq (the lone exception being playing with Nash - and Rondo, which improved his efficiency tremendously).
Here's Duncan, for comparison purposes:
...Cousins' field goal percentage kind of is what it is. It's one of the most solitary jobs in basketball. Maybe, if he were hugely dominant, and getting double teamed every night, he'd improve by going to a team with another offensive threat. However, that's not what's happening. If Cousins were a legitimate mandatory double team, he'd simply have a higher field goal percentage.
Your argument that he may be, "mailing it in," begs the question of why you would want someone like that on your team. Really? Tyreke Evans, Thomas Robinson, and Jason Thompson can't get it done? He either is (a) not good enough; or (b) has personality issues that detract from his talent to render him not good enough.
I'll take a pass. And I think OKC does, too.
How does it make any difference if he is a wing, a PG of a center?
You even said yourself that Shaq's offensive efficiency improved signifcantly when he played alongside Nash and Rondo. Through the rest of his career in LA, Miami and Cleveland he never had a proper PG to get him easy shots. He was dominant regardless simply because he is one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, but combining him with proper pass-first PGs late in his career helped to keep him efficient even in his late 30s.
Cousins plays on a team that has no offensive structure. Everybody tries to just score themselves - everybody wants the ball in their hands. They have no proper playmaker to set guys up, they have no truly dominant scorer to nominate as the "take the last shot" type of guy. Their offensive setup is chaos.
It's very possible that Cousins offensive efficiency could improve dramatically once he is in an organised offensive system playing with the best passing PG in the NBA. Hell Chris Wilcox has a career FG percentage of 53%, but he's shooting 71% this season playing alongside Rondo. Most of that is due to all of the easy lobs he's getting which he simply has to finish. If Cousins' FG% were to increase from 41% to say 47% alongside Rondo then that's plenty efficient enough.
Also what's this "Decent rebounder" talk. Decent??? Cousins' rebound rate of 18.2% is actually better than Al Jefferson (17.9%), Marcin Gortat (15.9%) and Emeka Okafor (15.2%). It's on par with Dwight Howard (18.7%). Cousins is more than just a 'Decent' rebounder, he's an elite rebounder and one of the best in the league. Move him over to the worst rebounding team in the NBA and the rebounds are pretty much all his - at 22 years of age he has the potential to become a KLove / Varejao calibre rebounder in the years to come.
Also Cousins' assist ratio of 14.7% is exceptional for a center. It's right on par with Kevin Garnett (Kevin Garnett (14.2%) who is considered one of the best passing big men in the game.
Compare that to some of the other bigs that have been mentioned in trades and only Nene rates better:
* Al Jefferson (10.8%)
* Marcin Gortat (6.0%)
* Emeka Okafor (7.4%)
* Nene (21.4%)
People also say hes very turnover prone. His turnover ratio the last two seasons has been 11.85 and 11.74, respectively. Lets compare to the other bigs:
* Al Jefferson (6.58)
* Marcin Gortat (11.23)
* Emeka Okafor (11.3)
* Nene (13.58)
Looking at our other plausable trade targets at the centre spot, DMC's certain not the turnover-happy guy people seem to suggest. Before anyone mentiones Jefferson's rate, his is abnormally low and probably one of the 10 lowest in the league. Cousins' turnover ratio is about average, and on par with Gortat and Okafor.