NBA Trade Rumors: Will DeMarcus Cousins Leave Sacramento Kings In 2018 If He Isn’t Traded?
This summer, NBA trade rumors haven’t necessarily been running as wild as they have been in recent years, but there is still an abundance of them. One of the latest rumors revolves around DeMarcus Cousins leaving the Sacramento Kings.
According to CBS Sports, Cousins is expected to leave the franchise if he is not traded by the 2018 offseason.
“In the process, there is a cloud of drama and the seemingly inevitability hanging over the franchise’s head. Many people around the NBA expect Cousins to leave Sacramento when he becomes a free agent in 2018.”
If the rumors hold any truth, then the Kings should be looking to move Cousins. It is really that simple. A team like the Kings, who haven’t shown a whole lot of process over the last few seasons, can’t afford to lose arguably the best center in the NBA for nothing, and that is exactly what will happen if Cousins does decide to take his talents elsewhere.
“They’re fooling themselves if they think he’s sticking around,” said one league executive, according to CBS Sports. “The good news for them is his value will always be high. There isn’t a point of no return in which you’re not getting high value for him. Teams will bid against each other in the trade market. Maybe [Cousins] doesn’t go for the biggest money in free agency but you’d love to have that card to play.”The good news: Sacramento has plenty of time to find a suitable trade partner.
The bad news: Once again, it seems inevitable that the Kings will lose a top center in this league.
Cousins is coming off of another monster season. He put up 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in 2015-16. For his career, the lethal big man is averaging 20.2 PPG and 10.8 RPG. He turned 26 on August 13, so he still has plenty of valuable years left in the tank.
As successful as Cousins has been from a statistics standpoint, the same thing cannot be said about the Kings. Last season, Sacramento finished with a 33-49 record. In no way does that scream title contender, or playoff team. In fact, the Kings have never made it to the playoffs on Cousins’ watch, and he has now played six seasons in the NBA. Of course, that isn’t all on Cousins.
In the grand scheme of things, Cousins leaving in 2018 is just a rumor. Nothing more, nothing less. However, Cousins likely doesn’t want to spend the prime of his career playing for a team that isn’t going to contend for NBA titles.
In this day and age in the NBA, superstars switch teams all of the time, especially in the prime of their careers. Look no further than LeBron James and Kevin Durant to figure that one out. LeBron left the Cleveland Cavaliers, won two titles with the Miami Heat, and then went back to the Cavs. Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors this summer. Those are just two examples.If Sacramento can’t find valuable pieces to play alongside Cousins, or be a functional franchise, then why should he stay? Winning titles is a big part of the process and Cousins hasn’t even come close to doing that. The Kings do have some talent, but they are not the Cavaliers or Warriors.
Nonetheless, if Cousins isn’t traded by the 2018 offseason, expect the big man to get plenty of phone calls in the summer. He is a scoring machine (fourth in the NBA in scoring in 2015-16) and he also happens to play center, a position that doesn’t consist of too many lethal scoring bigs.
This will eventually play itself out, but Sacramento should start looking at its options if this rumor holds any truth.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]