NBA Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers In Talks To Acquire DeMarcus Cousins From Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins hasn’t been happy with the Sacramento Kings for a few years now, and it sounds like he may finally be getting his wish of being traded.

According to Morning Ledger, the Cleveland Cavaliers have contacted the Kings about acquiring Cousins and guard Ben McLemore in exchange for forward Kevin Love, guard Iman Shumpert and multiple future first-round picks.

The Cavaliers understand that the Golden State Warriors’ addition of Kevin Durant puts pressure on the team to respond with an equally major move. As things stand right now, the Warriors would be heavy favorites to win the 2017 NBA championship, but if the Cavaliers were able to add a player like Cousins, the gap would close between the two teams.

DeMarcus is one of the most frustrating players in the NBA. He’s supremely talented as evidenced by the 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds Cousins averaged last season for the Kings. Despite his talent on the court, DeMarcus Cousins has had multiple issues with coaches, teammates and officials as he’s struggled throughout his career with his maturity.

While Cousins’ immaturity may seem like a big risk for the Cavaliers to take as they chase back-to-back NBA championships, LeBron James and the veteran locker room in Cleveland would be the perfect place to keep DeMarcus in check. In Sacramento, there’s really been no veteran leader to stay close to Cousins and help get him focused, and with all the losing the team has done over the years, he can’t contain his frustration.

With the Cavaliers, Cousins would have the support of his teammates and James would be able to help keep his emotions in check. It would be the perfect formula to get the most out of DeMarcus Cousins and would be the best thing for his career.

As for the Cavaliers, Cousins would provide the team with an inside presence they haven’t had in years. Tristan Thompson is a dominant rebounder and a capable defender, but he provides little in the way of offensive production. In addition, DeMarcus shot 33 percent from the three-point line last season, something would bring value when the Cavaliers run a pick-n-pop offense with Cousins and James.

Since acquiring Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014, the Cavaliers have struggled to integrate him into their offense. He hasn’t necessarily been happy with playing the third-wheel behind LeBron and Kyrie Irving and played horribly in the playoffs. The Cavaliers essentially won the championship in spite of him, and that’s led to major trade speculation over the last few weeks.

Love would instantly become the unquestioned go-to guy for the Kings, a team that is desperate to make the playoffs. A starting lineup of Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Rudy Gay, Love and Willie Cauley-Stein would be more than good enough to reach the playoffs. The Kings would also then be able bring guys like Shumpert, Omri Casspi and Kosta Koufos off the bench.

There’s another rumor that the Boston Celtics are also looking to make a deal for Cousins, but Danny Ainge can’t offer a player like Love in return. In order to get DeMarcus, the Celtics would like have to give up a few first-round draft picks, Jaylen Brown and possibly someone like Jae Crowder. That would certainly be a haul for the Kings, but the Cavaliers offer possesses more potential for immediate return for Cousins.

Adding a player like DeMarcus Cousins would instantly make the Cavaliers the biggest threats to the Golden State Warriors next season and would be the best thing for the big man’s career.

[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]