In an interesting, multi-sided developing story, the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to complete a trade with the Sacramento Kings for DeMarcus Cousins, which will also involve the Orlando Magic, Nikola Vucevic and the right to draft Jahlil Okafor.
How true is it? Both ESPN and Yahoo have mentioned it, and the history of George Karl with certain players and also the fact that he and Cousins haven’t been talking to each other for a couple of months could make this very true.
On the other hand, Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive has said the team has zero interest in trading their franchise player to USA Today: We have zero interest in moving Cousins, so I don’t know where that’s coming from. But if you like, you should talk to Vlade Divac because I know Vlade feels exactly the same way. And I’m deferring to Vlade on everything. We have no interest in moving him. From my perspective, it’s really simple: we feel that he’s a one-of-a-kind player, and we have a group of players right now and we’re going to build on it. Divac has already said to the Sacramento Bee that moving Cousins isn’t going to happen.
When Karl was hired, Cousins feared that the styles and maybe personalities won’t mix. Cousins also tweeted a ‘snake in the grass‘ emoji as the rumors started flying. Is he talking about Karl? Or reporters making up stories? It’s weird to think that a franchise player and center the Kings have invested so much in and built around will suddenly be moved, but maybe they prefer Karl running some fast paced small ball kind of team. Remember, Mike Malone was fired partially because he didn’t want a fast-paced, high scoring offense like the Kings owners.
It’s not surprising to see the Lakers trying these kind of moves. They don’t want a slow rebuild. Two years out of the playoffs is enough. They want to be back in the headlines for the right reasons, and also give Kobe Bryant one last shot at a ring, not just to make the playoffs. Mitch Kupchak said that Bryant has no say in their decision to draft and sign players, but do we actually believe that with 100% of our hearts?
How does this deal work? Well, it involves the Orlando Magic and draft picks. The Kings will get Vucevic from the Magic and other picks, the Orlando Magic end up with the second overall pick and take Okafor with it while the Lakers get Cousins and the sixth overall pick. That’s the initial assumption and if there’s actually any truth to these negotiations, the end result might look very different.