Cousins and the pro package deal

Down here in the college ranks, package deals -- wherein a high school or AAU coach uses his relationship with a top recruit to land a college job -- are all the rage. The NCAA has taken some steps to limit this practice, but coaches, like so many other college hoops hangers-on, are still finding a way.

This practice is far less common in the NBA. And by "far less common," I mean I'm pretty sure it never happens. Until Thursday when DeMarcus Cousins' high school basketball coach, Otis Hughley, was hired as an assistant by the Sacramento Kings. The Kings, as you'll recall, drafted Cousins with the fifth overall pick of this year's draft.

Joking aside, this isn't really a college-esque package deal; it reads much more like a franchise making sure their young star has mentors in place as he embarks on a new and challenging stage of his basketball life. Really, it makes sense. The Kings have a vested interest in making sure Cousins fulfills his potential, and if having his high school coach around to keep him focused accomplishes as much, well, why not? And it's not as if Hughley is a total schlub; he has experience coaching for USA Basketball and various top-level camps.

But, yes, the NBA package deal. It may never exist, but this is the closest anyone's ever been.