NBA trade rumors have been surrounding Kings center DeMarcus Cousins all summer, and while the Sacramento big man has yet to be dealt, teams are still working to pry him away from the Kings.
According to Sportsrageous, the Chicago Bulls are the latest team discussing a possible trade for Cousins. The Bulls have had an interesting off-season, to say the least. The team lost mainstays Derrick Rose (via trade) and Joakim Noah (via free agency) to the New York Knicks. Pau Gasol also signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs, so the foundation of the team was essentially broken up at that point.
In order to rebuild the roster, Chicago went right to work, signing Rajon Rondo to take over Derrick Rose’s point guard spot. The Bulls then surprised many by signing Dwyane Wade away from the Miami Heat. Obtaining Rondo and Wade were huge steps for Chicago, but they are now in need of frontcourt help. Robin Lopez is a serviceable center, but in order to make any noise in the Eastern Conference race next season, the team will need more firepower down low.
When it comes to talent at the center position, it doesn’t get much better than DeMarcus Cousins. However, he comes with well-documented attitude issues, and the Sacramento Kings are considering a potential trade for Cousins, which would trigger a rebuilding phase after a very disappointing 2015-16 campaign.
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Sacramento would likely be looking toward the future if they moved DeMarcus Cousins, so young talent would be on their wish list. The Bulls have several young players with solid potential that would fit the bill for the Kings. 2016 draft pick Denzel Valentine, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott, Jerian Grant, and Bobby Portis are all players who Sacramento could build with. If that group of players isn’t enough to tempt the Kings, future draft choices could also sweeten the pot.
DeMarcus Cousins has been the subject of NBA trade rumors because it is rare that a player of his caliber is available via trade — for any price. Of course, any team that trades for Cousins will have to deal with the same “baggage” that Sacramento has had to contend with for the last six years, which is why the Kings are listening to offers for their productive, but frustrating, big man.
A brief summary of Cousins’ problems would include a team suspension in 2012 for “unprofessional behavior.” In 2014, he was suspended and fined by the NBA for punching an opposing player during a game and verbally abusing a referee. Cousins has also had numerous issues with team management and coaches, highlighted by a very public feud with former Kings head coach George Karl (per ESPN).
Despite his erratic behavior, Cousins has been stellar in terms of production. He’s a two-time NBA All-Star, and has posted huge numbers throughout his career. He scored a career-high 26.9 points per game last season, and was one of the leading rebounders in the league the previous year, averaging 12.7 boards per contest. Cousins has even begun to add three-point shooting to his arsenal, hitting a respectable 33 percent from beyond the arc in 2015-16.
All of the previously-mentioned players the Bulls could send to Sacramento have value, but recent draftee Denzel Valentine out of Michigan State may be of particular interest to the Kings. Valentine is not an elite athlete, but he has a varied skill set that gives him the potential to be a very good NBA player down the road. Valentine can do it all on the offensive end of the court, and would be a key part of Sacramento’s rebuilding plan if this trade goes through.
In the NBA, trade rumors are circulating that the Sacramento Kings are ready to rid themselves of the headache that is DeMarcus Cousins. The Chicago Bulls have both the interest and assets to acquire the six-foot-eleven star. Which team do you think would benefit the most if Cousins is shipped to the Windy City for several young pieces?
[Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]