NBA Trade Rumors: DeMarcus Cousins To Celtics, Avery Bradley And Rudy Gay To Thunder In Blockbuster Ten-Player Deal With Kings

NBA trade rumors involving Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins are continuing to heat up. Digital Journal reports that Cousins has drawn interest from the Boston Celtics, as the team envisions pairing him with forward/center Al Horford. Horford’s best position is thought to be power forward, and the addition of DeMarcus Cousins would allow Horford to man that spot next to Cousins.

According to NESN, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge may be interested in acquiring both DeMarcus Cousins and small forward Omri Casspi from the Kings. Casspi is said to be frustrated with his lack of playing time in Sacramento, and he may have asked the team for a trade, per Hoops Hype. In a related story, Fansided states that Kings small forward Rudy Gay continues to be shopped by the team, and that the Oklahoma City Thunder are among the primary suitors. The article goes on to share that Thunder center Enes Kanter might be used as a trade chip if Oklahoma City pursues a deal for Rudy Gay.

NBC Sports has also picked up on the Rudy Gay trade buzz, detailing that the Thunder are looking for a wing player with size, and Rudy Gay appears to be their intended target. Oklahoma City feels that if they can add Gay to their roster, it would allow shooting guard Victor Oladipo to come off the bench. Writer Kurt Helin opines that Rudy Gay is going to be traded sooner or later, and the Thunder are considered the current frontrunner for his services.

Reports such as these have seemingly led to the creation of various NBA trade rumors involving these three teams, and one in particular that is being shared and discussed online is a massive 10-player swap that involves the Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Sacramento Kings.

In this rumored trade scenario, the Celtics would receive DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi, small forward Andre Roberson, and shooting guard Anthony Morrow. The Thunder would come away from this deal with Rudy Gay and shooting guard Avery Bradley. The Kings would be compensated with a package that includes small forward Jae Crowder, Enes Kanter, power forward Amir Johnson, point guard Cameron Payne, and Brooklyn’s first-round draft pick in 2018 (via Boston).

This huge and rather convoluted trade scenario would have to be deemed approval-worthy by the NBA league office for it to have any chance of getting off the ground. Interestingly, this three-team, 10-player, one draft pick trade proposal would be a legal transaction under the NBA’s trade and salary cap rules (confirmed via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine). This is not an indication of validity as an actual trade these teams would agree upon, but it does mean that all the numbers work and that the deal would be legitimate as far as the NBA is concerned.

The Boston Celtics have long been rumored to be looking for another star player, and this hypothetical deal would net them one of the most talented players in the game today, DeMarcus Cousins. However, in order to get a player of Cousins’ caliber, Boston would have to pay up, and that payment would be three starters (Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, and Amir Johnson) and a first-round draft pick, according to this NBA trade rumor. In return, the Celtics would be receiving a group of players who play the same positions as the aforementioned starters (Andre Roberson, Anthony Morrow, and Omri Casspi, respectively).

This would be a complex situation for Boston, because none of the incoming players (aside from Cousins) are as talented or productive as the outgoing players, so those downgrades would have to be weighed against the value that DeMarcus Cousins would add to the team. The power forward position would be covered by NBA All-Star Al Horford, so that’s not a concern. Andre Roberson doesn’t offer much on the offensive end, but he is an excellent defensive player. The team would have to count on solid production from rookie Jaylen Brown if this trade went down.


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At shooting guard, Terry Rozier has been coming on, but the same question would apply to both Rozier and Jaylen Brown: are they ready to play prime time minutes on a contending team? Anthony Morrow would provide some depth, but he wouldn’t be the answer as a starter. Let’s also not forget that the Celtics would be giving up a first-round pick in this theoretical swap, a draft choice that is likely to be high in the first round since the Brooklyn Nets are the pick’s original owner. This would be a very expensive deal for Danny Ainge to make, so what would the verdict be for the Boston Celtics if this trade offer was on the table?

The “tiebreaker” in this intriguing scenario may be Danny Ainge’s history as a general manger in Boston. Not only has he made a large number of trades, he has shown no fear when it comes to pulling the trigger on blockbuster deals. If Ainge believes that DeMarcus Cousins can get the Celtics over the hump and into the NBA Finals, he would arguably be one of the few general mangers in the league with enough guts to make a monster deal like this.

The Sacramento Kings are honestly in shambles at the moment, and they need to reboot and start fresh. This rumored trade proposal would send out a great deal of talent, but it would also unload three players who are either unhappy in Sacramento, not a good fit with the team, or both. If this trade happens, Enes Kanter would probably replace Cousins at center. Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder are also likely starters at power forward and small forward. Second-year player Cameron Payne would add value as a young backup point guard, who could develop into an eventual starter since the Kings are not presently very strong at that position (the holdovers are Darren Collison and Ty Lawson).

Especially when Boston’s first-round draft choice (from the Nets) is added to the haul, this looks like a solid deal for Sacramento, assuming they are truly ready to move Cousins and Gay, as has been rumored for quite some time. Much like the Celtics’ side of this three-way offer, it’s an expensive transaction, but one that the team could very well say yes to.

Finally, we come to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team hoping to add some firepower to go along with superstar point guard Russell Westbrook. If this deal takes place, Enes Kanter and Cameron Payne would be sent packing, but the presence of Steven Adams and Westbrook would take the sting out of losing those players. Anthony Morrow is buried on the Oklahoma City bench, and while Andre Roberson is a good rotation player because of his defense, Rudy Gay would bring a scoring dimension to the Thunder they don’t currently have.

Avery Bradley is a very good shooting guard (who is continually improving) who would allow Oklahoma City to execute their plan of bringing Victor Oladipo off the bench. The Thunder would be giving up good players in this rumored swap, but players they can afford to part with. The incoming talent (Bradley and Gay) would seem to fit nicely with Russell Westbrook and serve to bring a new element to the team in terms of offensive production. This looks like the kind of deal that would make Oklahoma City a bigger threat in the Western Conference race, so it’s a probable thumbs-up from the Thunder.

The latest NBA trade rumors are pointing toward a colossal deal between the Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Sacramento Kings. While the rumor mill often promotes blockbuster trades that appear to have little chance of happening in reality, this one seems to offer each team the value they are looking for, and it also passes the NBA league office’s litmus test. There is no way to know for certain if the Celtics, Thunder, and Kings are discussing this specific trade proposal or how far those potential negotiations have gotten, but if these teams aren’t at least considering this deal, they should be.

[Featured Image by Elise Amendola/AP Images]