The Cleveland Cavaliers just won their first NBA title in franchise history last month but they immediately found the need to improve their roster. Golden State Warriors acquired Kevin Durant to bolster their already-loaded roster that includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Following Durant’s move to the Bay Area, the Cavaliers are now continuously being linked to Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. One of the most intriguing trade scenarios floating online goes like this: Cavaliers acquiring Cousins, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos for Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert and multitude of future draft picks.
Will the Cavaliers Agree to the Rumored Trade?
Cavaliers general manager David Griffin previously told ESPN that Love will be in a Cavaliers uniform next season contrary to rumors. It is worth noting, though, that Griffin made the announcement before Durant’s earth-shaking decision. With their rich rivals getting richer, Griffin will certainly accept the propose deal.
The Cavaliers will likely lose at least two first-round picks but they will be in a better position to defend the title. Love struggled mightily against Golden State last season. If the deal materializes, the Cavaliers will use Cousins to exploit Golden State’s frontline, which was depleted with the departure of Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli.
Cleveland will also get a solid backup center in Koufos and another scorer in McLemore. A move to acquire McLemore will make more sense if starting shooting guard JR Smith, who is a free agent this summer, signs elsewhere. Smith wants to return but a lucrative offer from another could change his mind quickly.
Will the Sacramento Kings Raise the White Flag on Cousins?
Cousins is arguably the best center in the league but has not been a good locker room guy for the Kings. He had run-ins with teammates and coaches before, and was the main reason why the Kings parted ways with veteran head coach George Karl. Rajon Rondo was able to tone him down last season, but the veteran guard is also gone.
Moving Cousins could help the Kings more than it will hurt them in the long run. They will still have a solid frontcourt option in Kevin Love and a solid defender who can also score in Shumpert, who they will need if they decide to trade Rudy Gay along the way. The draft picks will also be beneficial in future transactions.