NBA Rumors: Toronto Raptors Interested In A Trade For DeMarcus Cousins

As the DeMarcus Cousins sweepstakes continue, is it safe to add another name to the list of teams interested in the All-Star center? The Sacramento Kings have taken a ton of calls on DeMarcus Cousins. It would not be a surprise if calls have come from the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. Are the Toronto Raptors entertaining the idea of a trade for Cousins?

According to the website Digital Journal, the Raptors have joined a list of teams that want to add DeMarcus Cousins to their roster. It is the belief that by trading for Cousins, the Raptors could catapult past the Cavaliers on the Eastern Conference hierarchy chart.

If adding Cousins does not make the Raptors better than the Cavaliers, they would at least be on par with their new rivals and the rest of the teams at the top of the conference.

So much of this hinges on the Sacramento Kings wanting to trade Cousins. There is nothing confirming that Cousins is on the move. As of now, everything is pure speculation. The idea of why the Kings should trade DeMarcus Cousins was recently explored by the Inquisitr. Among those reasons were that the Kings could maximize their return now and the direction that the NBA is going in.

Everyone who follows the NBA sees the game being catered towards skill versus brute force. The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs utilize great skill to defeat their opponents. Conversely, the Cavaliers uses a combination of the two. These teams represent three of the four teams that have won the NBA championship in the past five seasons. In short: To be the team, you have to beat the team.

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As we stand today, the Kings are two seasons away from having anything close to what the Warriors, Spurs, and Cavaliers have. And they are no closer to beating them. It would make all the sense in the world for the Kings to deal Cousins.

DeMarcus Cousins, who was once considered a locker room cancer, has not come out and asked the Kings for a trade. He has been busy helping Team USA win the gold medal in men’s basketball at the Rio Games. Cousins has also taken the time to address social problems.

DeMarcus Cousins funded (courtesy of AL.com) a police panel and a block party in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. The gesture comes on the heels of San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand (courtesy of NFL.com) for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during an NFL preseason game.

It is safe to say that Cousins is doing what he can to restructure his image. The timing is good as teams are beginning to line up their trade offers to hand the Kings. If there is any truth to the NBA rumors that the Raptors are putting together their package, one can only imagine what it would look like.

The Raptors cannot put together a trade offer for Cousins without including center Jonas Valanciunas. The Kings will likely want a starting center or power forward in return for DeMarcus Cousins. Valanciunas is a proper starting point.

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There is a trade that works for both teams. That would be for the Raptors to send Valanciunas, point guard Cory Joseph, and shooting guard Norman Powell. Going to the Raptors in this scenario is Cousins and guard Ben McLemore. The trade can be viewed on ESPN’s Trade Machine here.

Toronto would also have to include a first-round draft pick in order to satisfy the Kings.

Each team gets to improve from subtraction. Along with Jonas Valanciunas, the Kings get a starting point guard in Joseph and a potential rotation player in Powell. The Raptors get DeMarcus Cousins and a possible lengthy defender in McLemore. It is a win on paper for both teams, but at the end of the day, the Kings can hold on to Cousins.

Again, he is not officially on the trade block. All of the NBA rumors involving DeMarcus Cousins is pure speculation, but it does not hurt to think about the trade scenarios.

Would it be a wise decision for the Sacramento Kings to trade DeMarcus Cousins? Yes, the Kings cannot do any worse since they drafted him. At the same time, it could be smart to keep Cousins to see if they can build some positive momentum.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]