NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Still Want DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins won’t be made available via trade this offseason but the Los Angeles Lakers are still hoping to engage with Sacramento Kings on a possible deal, according to several sources.Advertisement
Cousins has been a long time target for the Lakers. After securing the No.2 pick in the forthcoming NBA Draft, the Lakers are in possession of a chest of assets to unload if Sacramento come calling.
DeMarcus Cousins to be shopped?
Last month, the Sacramento Bee reported that Kings GM Vlade Divac would look to shop Cousins this summer. “A year ago, Cousins was untouchable. A year later, the sense within the organization is Divac is tempted by the prospect of pairing his center with his personally selected coach but that he has become increasingly frustrated by his center’s ongoing issues and, for the first time, is willing to test the market for the two-time All-Star,” wrote Ailene Voisin.
Do note that the aforementioned report was published before the hiring of new Kings coach Dave Joerger, who has made it abundantly clear that Cousins will be his franchise player next season.
“We (Cousins and I) were able to spend some time together and that’s a great way to start the relationship. I’m going to push him – I want him to be great and he wants to be great… Certainly, he wants to win,” Joerger told Yahoo! Sports’ Vertical Podcast recently.
Even though Joerger hopes to build a harmonious relationship with Cousins, it’s worth noting that five different coaches have been fired since the Kentucky star was drafted in 2010. Recently, ESPN insider and coach David Thorpe asked the Kings to trade Cousins and start afresh.
“Trade DeMarcus Cousins for a solid veteran, some young prospects and picks. Forget about “equal value” and just move on. Trade Rudy Gay. Don’t re-sign Rajon Rondo. Start fresh with the few solid veterans you have plus what you get in the deals and the draft. And let Dave Joerger coach them up,” Thorpe said during a 5-on-5 discussion.
What can Lakers offer?
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.
Earlier this month, radio hosts Kelvin & Travis revealed the Lakers would prefer getting a legitimate all-star such as DeMarcus Cousins instead of building around the youngsters. “We’ve spoken about Boogie (Cousins) a million times. What if Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons are really good…nice pieces but they are most likely going to be a second or third option. But Boogie is a flat out nightmare (for opponents). The Lakers will prefer Cousins.”
Realistically, the Lakers could offer the No. 2 pick along with Lou Williams or Jordan Clarkson to seal the deal for DeMarcus Cousins. How long before Dave Joerger and Vlade Divac are persuaded? The NBA Draft is on June 23.