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Suns GM Ryan McDonough is confident Suns could manage a difficult player

Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins talks with referee Kevin Scott after he called Cousins for a technical foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Clippers won 106-98. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

LISTEN: Ryan McDonough, Suns' General Manager

Sacramento Kings All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins is known for his disagreements with referees.

The 26-year-old has 105 career technical fouls, leads the league with 15 this season and has been ranked in the top five every season since 2013.

Cousins’ problems on the court with his temper and demeanor have many turned off by the All-Star despite his numbers and claim as arguably the best big man in basketball.

In response to a report by John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports linking the Kings and Phoenix Suns in trade talks involving Cousins, 34 percent of over 3,500 voters on a poll said they would not want the Suns to trade for him.

It’s a staggering amount of people considering Cousins is averaging 21 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in his career and is just now entering the prime years of most NBA careers.

While that’s how fans feel, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough feels the team could manage a player with a reputation similar to Cousins’, without being able to comment on specific players due to league rules.

“That’s not something we’re necessarily scared of,” McDonough said on Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, before adding it’s obviously a factor when you evaluate any player.

McDonough thinks the Suns would be at an advantage with head coach Earl Watson in that type of scenario.

“I think coach Watson is probably either at or near the top of the list in terms of current NBA coaches who would be able to manage a difficult player,” McDonough said.

“Earl has a unique ability to be firm with players, be firm with people, be direct with them, but also get them to like him and respect him and even if they don’t always agree with the message, they respect that it’s delivered in an appropriate way and that they know that he has their best interests at heart.”

Without connecting any dots in any way, McDonough said as the team has always been looking to add an elite player, they would be more interested in someone in a certain age bracket.

“It would probably be a guy in his prime or in his early to mid-20s,” McDonough said. “Guys in their 30s probably don’t make as much sense for us, where we are on our timeline and on our trajectory.”

While the buzz surrounding the Suns and the trade market picked up considerably this week. McDonough said this is not like last year for the team in regards to having to trade a certain player (Markieff Morris).

“Normally, I think with a team like ours, if a team were to make a move, it would probably be skewed younger in terms of draft picks and young players,” McDonough said.

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