The Sacramento Kings (except for their head coach) are denying there are talks regarding DeMarcus Cousins and a trade. The Los Angeles Lakers? Nothing. But it seems the potential mega move isn’t going away anytime soon, and it’s not going to be surprising if it actually happens.
What’s going on? Well, it begins with George Karl being hired midway through the season to coach the Kings. Cousins and his team aren’t too happy about it, but Karl, who is known for playing smaller lineups and fast paced basketball, promises, through the media and probably in private meetings, that Cousins will fit in and he’ll work the system so Cousins, the best player the Kings have by a few miles, can function in it.
April comes, the season ends. Cousins and Karl haven’t spoken, texted or anything since. Maybe Karl has tried communicating with him, maybe not. The head coach seems to be leaning towards playing without Cousins. He wants a point guard, specifically Ty Lawson and maybe Kenneth Faried as well, and is willing to give up Cousins for that. Problem?
The rest of the Kings’ men don’t want Cousins gone. Cousins himself, if he’s to be believed, doesn’t want to leave. How can the two ever work together again? Maybe the trade talks are now on their way because Cousins doesn’t want to work with Karl anymore? A lot of mystery and mystique around this potential trade. The Lakers, in the meantime, are as quiet as a mouse.
What’s the proposed trade? Cousins for the number two overall pick, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. That’s pretty much all the assets the Lakers have worth trading for Cousins. Makes sense? After the promise Clarkson has shown? After Randle hasn’t even played one complete game for the Lakers? With the number two pick potentially yielding franchise worthy players?
Maybe there’s some other deal in mind, one that includes other teams as well (Orlando Magic, perhaps?). Right now it doesn’t seem like Cousins is happy with the Kings, but he probably still wants to stay in Sacramento. The Lakers are probably waiting for the Kings to make up their minds about the direction they want the team to take in the near future. Until there’s a decision, and it might come only after the draft, we’ll be left with rumors and speculation.