The Sacramento Kings currently sit in the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference with a 20-31 record. Entering the season, the organization was hopeful that a coaching change and adding some veterans to the roster would be enough to allow the Kings to compete for a spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.
Unfortunately, the results haven’t been what the Kings were hoping for and the team looks like it will miss the playoffs 11th straight season.
With their playoff chances dwindling, the Kings have a decision to make regarding superstar big man DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is currently in the third year of a four-year $65.9 million deal and there are serious questions about whether or not DeMarcus would consider re-signing with the team when his contract expires.
If Sacramento is convinced that Cousins will leave via free agency, then it would behoove the Kings to find the best possible trade offer and pull the trigger. There have been trade rumors surrounding Cousins for the last year and the Kings should be able to put themselves in good position for the future with whatever deal they end up accepting for DeMarcus.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports reports that the Phoenix Suns are one team that’s had recent contact with the Sacramento Kings involving DeMarcus Cousins.
— Suns Nation (@SunsNationNBA) January 31, 2017
“Gambadoro reports the discussions have centered around involving small forward T.J. Warren, center Alex Len, Phoenix’s first-round pick this year and possibly more. The Suns own all of their future picks and also own two future Miami Heat first-round picks from the Goran Dragic deal.
“Sacramento has the need for a lead point guard and 2017’s draft class has point guards near the top of many mock drafts, including Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.”
“Gambadoro said Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker would not be in the deal.”
Warren is in his third year out of North Carolina State and has started 31 of 38 games during the 2016-17 season. He’s averaging 13.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in a career-high 29.3 minutes per game for the Suns. The Kings currently have a huge hole on the wing with the injury to Rudy Gay and Warren would slot right into the starting lineup for the present and future.
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) February 1, 2017
Len is a 23-year-old center in his fourth year in the NBA out of Maryland. After starting a combined 90 games over the previous two seasons, Alex has been moved to more of a bench role under new head coach Earl Watson this year. The 7-foot-1 big man has only started 10 games in 2016-17 and is averaging 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per game, but has shown flashes of being a dominant center.
The Suns also currently own the worst record in the Western Conference and the second-worst record in the NBA behind the Brooklyn Nets. If the Kings were able to add the Suns’ first-round pick in 2017, it would give them a pretty good shot at one of the top two point guards in the 2017 NBA Draft — UCLA’s Lonzo Ball or Washington’s Markelle Fultz.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 31, 2017
While the haul for Cousins would be significant for the Kings, the real question is why would the Phoenix Suns want to give up so much for potentially one season of DeMarcus Cousins?
It’s true that a core of Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, and Cousins would be dynamic, but the Suns would have to get some sort of guarantee from Cousins that he would sign an extension in Phoenix or the move would make absolutely zero sense.
It’ll be interesting to see whether DeMarcus Cousins is traded in the next 10 days prior to the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline or if the Sacramento Kings decide to wait until the offseason to field offers.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]