Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins has hired an agent who's delivering a bold message to the NBA: The No. 1 pick in the draft could come out of Kentucky, but it won't necessarily be point guard John Wall.
"There are teams that have done their homework on DeMarcus, and if the lottery ball bounces right, he could be the No. 1 pick in the draft," agent John Greig told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday.
It's clear that Greig's first job is to try and sway public and league opinion that Cousins, a first-team All-America as a freshman, brings no serious character or attitude problems into the NBA.
"When teams, the media and fans wait and hear the real story about DeMarcus, they'll all understand," Greig said. "He's a great kid. Sure, he needs to mature, but NBA teams who do their proper homework are teams seeing this kid as an equal for the No. 1 pick with Wall or [Ohio State's Evan] Turner."
Who those executives are remain to be seen, but Greig promises to be aggressive in making a case for what he calls "these nonexistent red flags" that people have talked about with Cousins. At 6-foot-11, 270 pounds, Cousins is a 19-year-old who most executives believe will be the first big man taken in the draft. Most have him projected to be in play at the third pick after Wall and Turner are taken. It's Greig's job to convince people otherwise.
The signing of Cousins is a coup for Greig, a Seattle-based agent who has had a low profile. Greig was a 1982 third-round draft pick of the Seattle SuperSonics out of the University of Oregon. His current clients include mostly NBA Development League and European players.