NBA trade rumors continue to follow the soap opera that the Sacramento Kings have become. Superstar center DeMarcus Cousins has been the focus of trade speculation for a while now, and that buzz just keeps growing stronger. Hoops Hype details the drama surrounding Cousins, which includes his unhappiness with years of losing in Sacramento, and the Kings' frustration with Cousins and his volatile personality. With DeMarcus Cousins set to become a free agent after next season, it appears more and more likely that Sacramento will unload Cousins if the right offer comes along.
Kings small forward Rudy Gay is another player embroiled in controversy. According to Hashtag Basketball, Gay has made his feelings known to management that he is not happy with the way things have gone for him since joining Sacramento in 2013 -- Gay feels that communication and stability are lacking with the Kings, and some believe he has asked the team for a trade. In addition, the Kings do not think Rudy Gay has been a good fit with his teammates on the court, so there seems to be mutual interest in finding a new home for Gay.
Another star who is rumored to be on the move is Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George. Fansided has published a piece that describes the scenario facing George and the Pacers. George can opt out of his contract after next season, and considering the struggles that Indiana has gone through in recent years, most observers have concluded that Paul George will seek greener pastures when his current contract expires. Knowing this, the Pacers have been forced to consider their trade options, rather than face the possibility that George will leave as a free agent 18 months from now.
The latest NBA trade rumors are indicating that a deal between the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers could take place. The rumored trade proposal would have DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay joining the Pacers, while Paul George and combo guard Monta Ellis would head west to play for the Kings. Ellis, incidentally, is another player whose name has been coming up in the rumor mill as of late. This four-player swap would be a legal trade per the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, confirmed via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine. The NBA might see this trade as legitimate, but would this deal work for both teams involved?
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The Sacramento Kings are in need of a reboot; the team seems to be going nowhere with DeMarcus Cousins as their "big gun." This trade would bring in a superstar (Paul George) who does not carry the mental and emotional baggage that Cousins does, so George would have to be considered an upgrade, despite Cousins' huge statistical production. The Kings would take on a whole new look at center with Willie Cauley-Stein, who is a defensive ace, but is not much of a threat on the offensive end. Kosta Koufos could also help fill the void if Cousins is dealt to the Pacers.
Monta Ellis would probably be used mostly as a point guard, which is not an area of strength for Sacramento. While Ellis would be a somewhat useful piece, he is on the decline after 11 NBA seasons and would not be of great value to the Kings. However, Sacramento would be likely to give this hypothetical offer serious consideration; the final decision would depend on how motivated the Kings are to deal Cousins and Gay. If reports are correct that both players want out of Sacramento and the team is ready to move on from them, then this may be the best offer the Kings will get for their disgruntled stars.
The Indiana Pacers are firmly committed to Paul George as their franchise player, but George doesn't quite seem to be so sure he wants to remain in Indiana long-term. If the Pacers were in a situation where they had to consider offers for George, this one would be intriguing. DeMarcus Cousins would man the center position, which would allow talented second-year big man Myles Turner to move to power forward, which he appears very capable of doing.
There has already been talk that Monta Ellis should be coming off the bench for Indiana, and there are players on the roster who could take those minutes and give the team some productivity. Rudy Gay would slide into the small forward position, and while he is not on Paul George's level, Gay is an established scorer in the NBA and would be a solid replacement if this trade went through.
This sample from the current batch of NBA trade rumors is certainly compelling. Neither team would be likely to make such a significant move under normal circumstances, but as time goes on, both of these teams will become more open to dealing these players if a reasonable deal is on the table. As we get closer to the NBA trade deadline, keep an eye on the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, because if circumstances don't improve, these teams could take a hard look at a trade proposal like this one.
[Featured Image by Michael Conroy/AP Images]