The Los Angeles Lakers have coveted Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for a long time. It seems like they could finally be getting the all-star big man this offseason, per a league source. The asking price? Point guard D’Angelo Russell packaged with several other assets.
Kings want Russell….
A few days before last month’s NBA Draft, ESPN’s Mark Stein revealed that the Kings were ‘heavily engaged’ in trade discussions for Russell. “Sacramento has been heavily engaged in trade talks all week and sources say one player they’ve tried to land is Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell,” Stein tweeted.
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
Incidentally, one source notes that the Lakers refused to trade Russell unless the Kings involved Cousins as part of the deal. Last month, the Sacramento Bee reported that Kings GM Vlade Divac would 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.
For DeMarcus Cousins, LA won’t trade Ingram
Exactly a year ago, the Kings demanded the trio of the No. 2 pick (Russell), Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson to send Cousins to Los Angeles, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. This summer, Lakers have more assets and Cousins’ trade value has waned in the aftermath of George Karl’s firing.
One thing is for certain: The Lakers are unwilling to part with No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram, who they view as the heir apparent of Kobe Bryant and the next franchise player. However, they would be willing ship Russell and Julius Randle for the big man they’ve desired for many years.
Will DeMarcus Cousins be a Laker next season? It’s unlikely but nothing can be ruled out after Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors. The entire dynamic of the NBA has changed.