Last offseason, then-Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl attempted to trade big man DeMarcus Cousins to the Los Angeles Lakers after he was told that he had full control of roster personnel. Kings ownership, however, blocked his attempt to trade Cousins, which ended up being the beginning of the end for Karl, who no longer is the head coach in Sacramento.
Fast forward a year and there are more rumors circulating about Cousins and his availability via trade. The Boston Celtics have been rumored as a potential destination for Cousins, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, Sportsrageous is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers might be a team that could get into the fray after DeMarcus said that the Lakers were his favorite team growing up during a recent Twitter Q&A.
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) July 21, 2016
Obviously, Cousins saying that he loved the Lakers growing up doesn’t mean anything when it comes to facilitating a trade, but it does make one think. The Lakers are one team that could put together the sort of package it would take to get a player like DeMarcus. With Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle, the Kings would definitely find something to their liking if they chose to deal Cousins to Los Angeles.
Reportedly, the Kings aren’t willing to deal Cousins at this time, as the organization is hoping the DeMarcus will develop a bond with new head coach Dave Joerger. If that doesn’t happen, then a trade could very easily be what comes next for Cousins who has had problems getting along with coaches in the past.
DeMarcus Cousins To LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers Or Utah Jazz? – Morning Ledger https://t.co/Bc8Dt0e8pg
— basket (@basketnoti) July 25, 2016
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins averaged 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds, but the Kings only finished with a 33-49 record. DeMarcus is often viewed as a great individual talent, but not as one that is going to make the players around him better. It’s the main reason why the Kings should consider trading him now.
Cousins has two years left on his contract, and it’s unlikely that he will re-sign in Sacramento. With the team more than two years from becoming a contender, trading DeMarcus makes more sense than holding onto him and losing him to free agency. Despite Cousins’ attitude issues, he still holds significant value and could bring a major haul for the Kings.
As for the Lakers, adding a player like Cousins would put them on a path to relevancy with the team expected to be ready to make a major push for Russell Westbrook next offseason. A duo of Cousins and Westbrook would instantly make the Lakers one of the best teams in the Western Conference, especially if the Kings didn’t ask for both Russell and Ingram in return.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) July 25, 2016
Even if Westbrook signed an extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, having Cousins would give the Lakers a star to attract other free agents. Right now, the Lakers aren’t an attractive option in free agency because the team is at least a year or two away from contending. It’s the exact reason why Kevin Durant said that he didn’t grant the Lakers a meeting during his free agency tour earlier this offseason.
Critics may point out that the Kings can’t attract free agents to play with Cousins now, but that has a lot to do with Sacramento being a perennial loser and not nearly as attractive of a destination as Los Angeles. The Lakers could offer a championship history, beautiful weather throughout the year, and the chance to play with the best center in the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins. That’ll entice some free agents to head west.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]