DeMarcus Cousins remains the Los Angeles Lakers’ No.1 target via trade but those plans are put on hold with the new season about to get underway.
The Lakers are quietly optimistic that their young core comprising of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle can help them return to relevancy.
However, another school of thought suggests that the Lakers are biding their time and waiting for the Sacramento Kings to make Cousins available via trade.
As of this writing, the Kings have no intention to part with Cousins despite six tumultuous seasons with the all-star center.
After Cousins returned from the Rio Olympics, he connected with new coach Dave Joerger and expressed his enthusiasm about the forthcoming season.
Joerger, too, feels that he can develop a harmonious relationship with Cousins despite the center’s history of run-ins with former Kings coaches.
Remember, Joerger is the sixth coach that would Kings have hired since drafting Cousins in 2010.
NBA 2K17: Watch Harambe Dominate The Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins: What can Lakers offer?
Even though his reputation presides him, Cousins is still widely considered the best center in the league. Therefore, many general mangers and coaches would be willing to trade for him in a heartbeat.
The question, however, is how high is Cousins’ asking price?
Earlier this summer, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Kings were trying to trade for Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell.
Sacramento has been heavily engaged in trade talks all week and sources say one player they've tried to land is the Lakers' D'Angelo Russell
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2016
If Russell, entering his second season, shows flashes of a future all-star, the Kings would love to get the Ohio State product in return for Cousins. Of course, the Lakers would need to include Julius Randle and Lou Williams to make the salaries work.
ESPN’s trade machine approves of a trade that would send Cousins to Los Angeles in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Lou Williams. It’s not a bad trade for the Kings since Russell and Randle are on rookie contracts.
The Lakers aren’t used to going multiple years without making playoff appearances. Their best shot at returning to relevancy is to sacrifice young assets for proven stars.
However, is DeMarcus Cousins, a player with a history of disciplinary issues, worth it?