DeMarcus Cousins has been mentioned in NBA trade rumors all summer. The Sacramento Kings’ All-Star center is one of the league’s top talents, but his reputation for being disruptive to the team on and off the court reportedly has the Kings considering trade offers for Cousins.
YIBADA English opines that there could be a blockbuster three-way deal in the offing involving DeMarcus Cousins. Previous reports have indicated that the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers have been discussing a potential trade with Sacramento, but the Kings haven’t been tempted to make a deal with Cleveland that involves Cavs forward Kevin Love, who has not been the same player since he left the Timberwolves to join Cleveland in 2014.
Enter the Phoenix Suns, who have been exploring trade opportunities for point guard Eric Bledsoe. A three-way trade that sends DeMarcus Cousins to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love to the Phoenix Suns, and Eric Bledsoe to the Sacramento Kings would seem to give all three franchises value in areas of need.
The Cavs are looking to make a big move to “keep up with the Joneses” (in this case, the Golden State Warriors), and the center position is an area of need. Adding DeMarcus Cousins to the already-talented mix in Cleveland could help LeBron James and company stay on top after the Warriors signed superstar forward Kevin Durant in free agency.
The Suns could use an upgrade at power forward, and Kevin Love has shown that when he is featured in his team’s offense, he is a highly-productive, All-Star performer. Love just hasn’t been able to find his niche as a role player behind LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, as detailed by the Washington Post.
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In Sacramento, point guard is a weak spot after Rajon Rondo bolted to join the Chicago Bulls as a free agent. Eric Bledsoe is young and talented, although he has had some injury issues of late. Bledsoe has star-level ability, and could be a significant building block for the Kings as they try to retool their roster after a disappointing 2015-16 campaign.
DeMarcus Cousins, simply put, is an enigma. After a tremendous college career at the University of Kentucky, Cousins was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. There were questions about his attitude and motivation coming out of college, but the Kings took a chance on Cousins due to his high skill level and seemingly unlimited potential.
In terms of production, Cousins has been everything Sacramento had hoped for. A two-time NBA All-Star, Cousins averaged 26.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season. The man known as “Boogie” has also shown a tendency to be very outspoken, and his brash personality has led to multiple run-ins with teammates, coaches, and management while a member of the Kings.
Like DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love was chosen No. 5 overall in the NBA Draft, with Love entering the league in 2008. The smooth and skilled big man out of UCLA was a star in Minnesota, earning three NBA All-Star berths. He led the NBA in rebounding in 2010-11 (15.2 per game) and averaged over 26 points per game twice before being shipped to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 2014 trade.
Love’s numbers have been very respectable since joining the Cavs (16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest), but his shooting percentage has dropped considerably and his overall effectiveness just hasn’t been the same in Cleveland.
Eric Bledsoe has really come into his own in recent years as a member of the Phoenix Suns. Bledsoe played his first three seasons for the Clippers, but blossomed when Los Angeles sent him to Phoenix in 2013. Bledsoe posted per-game averages of 20.4 points, four rebounds and 6.1 assists in 2015-16.
If this particular NBA trade rumor becomes a reality, which of these three teams do you think would get the better end of this deal?
[Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]