NBA trade rumors and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins have been inseparable in recent weeks. During that time period, Cousins has seemingly been linked to half the teams in the NBA as a possible trade target. Sports Illustrated cites Cousins as one of a group of NBA stars who need to be “saved” from hopeless situations with their current teams by way of trade. The Sporting News reports that the farther we get into the NBA season, the more likely it is that DeMarcus Cousins will be dealt by the Kings.
The Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to be in a rebuilding phase this season, but the team is off to a very good start as detailed by FanRag Sports. Several players are beginning the year in breakthrough fashion, including point guard D’Angelo Russell, shooting guard Nick Young, and shooting guard Lou Williams. The Lakers’ fast start is causing a change in perception, and now the team is being seen as a possible playoff contender as early as this season. With that being the case, NBA trade rumors are swirling that Los Angeles could become a player in the DeMarcus Cousins Sweepstakes.
A current scenario that is making the rounds in the rumor mill has the Lakers making a move to bring DeMarcus Cousins to Inglewood. According to this rumored trade proposal, Los Angeles would send small forward Brandon Ingram and combo guard Jordan Clarkson to Sacramento for the rights to their six-foot-eleven, 270-pound NBA All-Star.
Jordan Clarkson is currently not trade-eligible due to signing a new contract this summer, but that’s not a problem here, as the talk is that the Lakers and Kings would make this potential deal after December 15 (when Clarkson can be included in the offer). Once the timing is no longer a problem, the salaries do match up, so we know by way of the ESPN NBA Trade Machine that this would be a legitimate trade per the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
One issue for the Lakers in acquiring DeMarcus Cousins would be that the team just gave Timofey Mozgov a $64 million contract to become their starting center. Mozgov is playing well so far this season (per SB Nation), but adding Cousins to the roster would mean Los Angeles would then have a very expensive backup center, so the Lakers may eventually have to consider trading Mozgov or waiving him if it came to that.
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Neither Brandon Ingram nor Jordan Clarkson are currently starting for Los Angeles, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Ingram was the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and he is thought to have superstar potential in the mold of Warriors small forward Kevin Durant. Clarkson is coming off a very good season and just signed a big contract to remain with the Lakers; he is only coming off the bench because head coach Luke Walton thinks that creates a better balance between his first and second units — Clarkson is clearly a good, starting-quality player.
Despite its drawbacks, this would be a very tempting trade for the Los Angeles Lakers to make. The Kings are truly in need of a reboot, and adding a supreme talent like Brandon Ingram would fit into a plan focused on building for the future, although other moves would probably have to be made so that Ingram and Clarkson would be a better fit in the Sacramento lineup (those Rudy Gay trade rumors would have to become a reality, for one thing).
The latest NBA trade rumors are indicating that the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings may be considering a trade involving superstar center DeMarcus Cousins that would be consummated no earlier than mid-December. If the Lakers do indeed feel they are close to contention, this is a deal that might be too tempting to pass up.
If the Kings are ready to move on from Cousins as has been rumored, adding Ingram and Clarkson would give the team two young pieces they can build a future with. There is definite risk and uncertainty on both sides of this hypothetical trade offer, but both teams would also have reason to pull the trigger on this deal — this is one to keep an eye on in the next month or two as we get closer to the NBA trade deadline.
[Featured Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]