The Los Angeles Lakers are in various trade rumors recently since the team’s management had been open about their plan to sign two big-name free agents in the coming offseason. Foremost of the soon-to-be free agents linked to the Hollywood franchise is LeBron James, who is said to be the team’s top priority next summer.
However, there are also rumors connecting the Lakers to either Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins, two other All-Stars who reportedly had been on the team’s radar for quite some time now.
Last summer, news went out that George told his friends of his desire to play for his hometown squad. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and many expect him to consider moving to the Lakers should OKC’s Big Three experiment fail this season.
Meanwhile, Cousins has also been linked to the Lakers as early as the 2014-2015 season. There were reports that the Lakers had tried to offer his former club, the Sacramento Kings, Julius Randle and the 2015 No. 2 pick (which turned out to be D’Angelo Russell) to get him, but no trade came into fruition.
Now with Boogie playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, the Cousins-to-Lakers rumors have re-emerged.
In a recent Lakers Nation podcast hosted by Trevor Lane, guest analyst and Bleacher Report writer Eric Pincus said that the Pelicans might decide to trade Cousins before the February 8 trade deadline.
Like George, Cousins will also become an unrestricted free agent in July, and there are no indications that the three-time All-Star would choose to stay in New Orleans. Pincus said that Cousin’s departure would be certain if the team fails to advance into the postseason once again.
Thus, rather than risking to lose Cousins for nothing, Pincus believed that the Pelicans would trade him for future assets in midseason.
Right now, the Pelicans are eighth in the West with an 18-17 record. They have won three of their last four games, but their last match was a disappointing 128-120 loss to lowly squad Dallas Mavericks.
Pincus noted that apart from Anthony Davis, Cousins is the Pelicans’ only other trade asset, and the team should maximize that value in order to acquire two starters. He then suggested a trade with the Lakers that would land the Pelicans Randle and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both of whom are rumored to be on the Lakers’ trading block.
Pincus even proposed a bigger trade that would also involve the Pelicans’ Omer Asik and the Lakers’ Luol Deng, Ivica Zubac, and a couple of future draft picks, although he said that a deal like that would be entirely “on the Pelicans.”