With each passing week, NBA trade rumors continue to intensify as teams begin to evaluate their needs and plot their trade strategies. One player who has been a prime focus of the rumor mill for months is Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Hoops Hype reports that even players on opposing teams are hearing buzz that the Kings are "starting to get sick of Cousins." The team has developed a pattern of losing in recent years, while DeMarcus Cousins has continued to put up stellar individual statistics. If Sacramento is ready to blow their team up and begin rebuilding (as they probably should be), dealing Cousins for a bundle of assets would seem to be a prudent move.
Those in the Kings' organization do not all seem to be on the same page regarding Cousins, however. Majority owner Vivek Ranadive stated to ESPN (via CBS Sports) that he does not want to trade DeMarcus Cousins. There appears to be a power struggle going on among Sacramento's ownership and management personnel, and since Ranadive has been known to change his mind about trading or keeping key players in the past, Cousins' status with the Kings is very much in doubt as the powers that be try to resolve their conflicts pertaining to the team's superstar center.The Philadelphia 76ers have been in the news regularly as a result of their odd roster imbalance. The Sixers arguably have one of the best group of centers in the NBA, led by Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens Noel. There have been a number of NBA trade rumors that involve Philadelphia trading Okafor or Noel, but the latest from Basketball Insiders points toward the likelihood of a deal involving Nerlens Noel. According to this tweet, the 76ers have settled on the idea of unloading Noel because he and the team are not on the same page -- and they clearly need to move one of their centers, as Philadelphia needs help at virtually every other position.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are thought to be looking for a wing player with length (per ESPN), and Kings small forward Rudy Gay appears to be their primary target. The Thunder want a player like Gay who would allow them to move shooting guard Victor Oladipo to the bench. If a deal goes through between Oklahoma City and Sacramento, it is expected to include Thunder point guard Cameron Payne heading to the Kings, who are not particularly strong at that position.
The Phoenix Suns have two starting-quality point guards on their roster, and because of this, NBA trade rumors have revolved around Eric Bledsoe since the off-season began. However, more current information seems to indicate a shift in the Suns' feelings about a possible Bledsoe deal -- the team is reportedly now more interested in moving their other primary point guard, Brandon Knight. According to CBS Sports, Knight's disappointing play this season has caused rival general managers to believe that Knight will be shipped out by Phoenix before the trade deadline. A move such as this makes sense for a Suns team that is struggling (5-12) and needs help at other spots (small forward would be a position to target).Finally, there is some intriguing news regarding the Minnesota Timberwolves and their potential activity in the trade market. Yahoo! Sports has published a piece that discusses head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau's desire to acquire a veteran who can help the team right now, even if the cost is one of his young core players. Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson (all current or former Chicago Bulls who played for Thibodeau) are being mentioned in the latest batch of NBA trade rumors involving the Timberwolves.
[Featured Image by Steve Yeater/AP Images]