Lakers Rumors: Are the Los Angeles Lakers preparing to make another run at DeMarcus Cousins this offseason? According to sources close to the organization, the front office will be willing to trade their top-3 protected draft pick if Sacramento Kings decide to make Cousins available in trade talks.
Going forward, it all boils down to the luck of the draw during NBA Draft Lottery on May 17. If the Lakers secure a top-3 pick, they will be in prime position to trade for a superstar, which could in turn help them sign another marquee free agent in the summer.
Future stars already secured…
Last June, Kings demanded Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and the No. 2 draft pick (with which the Lakers drafted D’Angelo Russell) as part of a deal that would have sent Cousins to L.A. However, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak & Co. didn’t succumb to pressure and insisted on sticking with the young trio. To their credit, all three players shown signs of future superstars.
Recently, Sam Amick of USA Today explained why the Cousins to Lakers trade was botched last June. “When Cousins trade talks between the Kings and Los Angeles Lakers last June failed, when Cousins’ agent, Dan Fegan, was orchestrating a way out for his client amid frustration over Karl, some rival executives who read about the Kings’ demands and saw them as exorbitant took notice. If the Kings wanted the No. 2 pick, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and draft considerations for Cousins, some of them thought, then why even bother engaging in discussions?”
Since the Lakers have already found a battery of young talent in Russell, Clarkson, Randle and Larry Nance Jr, the front office wants to avoid a situation wherein too many youngsters share playing time. The team feels that the “time is right” to surround the young talent with veterans and superstars – who will help them return to the playoff picture after three forgettable seasons.
Who else to include in deal?
To sweeten the deal, Lakers will be forced to include Clarkson, Nance and Lou Williams, at the least, seeing as Cousins is hailed as the best big man in the NBA. However, due to Cousins’ constant disciplinary issues, the Sacramento front office isn’t in the best position to call the shots.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Kings GM Vlade Divac is looking to hire “an experienced executive who can help him negotiate a decent deal (for Cousins)” during the forthcoming offseason. Remember, Cousins is contracted with the Kings until the 2017-18 season.
If the Lakers secure the No. 1 overall pick, the Kings are expected to accept a deal that includes the pick and possibly Lou Williams. Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded Kevin Love to Cleveland Cavaliers for No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. Could we see a similar trade going down?
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