Trade buzz involving Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins always seems like a thing, but particularly so this week. Based on various reports and one emoji-filled tweet from Monday night, we haven't seen anything yet.
While ownership and Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac have stated they have no intention on dealing the talented and occasionally ill-tempered big man, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that coach George Karl wants Cousins out:
Despite Sacramento Kings management's public insistence that DeMarcus Cousins is unavailable in deals, coach George Karl's intense desire to trade the All-Star center has made it increasingly unlikely this coach-star partnership can peacefully co-exist next season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Karl has been recruiting Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac and multiple players on the Kings' roster to unite with him in making the case to owner Vivek Ranadive that Cousins needs to be traded, league sources said.
Since the end of the 2014-15 season, Cousins has become aware of Karl's campaign to move him – including teammates telling Cousins, sources said. All around the Kings and Cousins, there is a growing belief the coach-player relationship is irreparable. Trust is a constant theme with Cousins, and he's been unable to build any with Karl, sources said.
Karl*, one of the league's top coaches over the last 20 years, took over in Sacramento midway through last season. The Kings canned Mike Malone early on. Cousins, who has three years remaining on a max contract, is a Malone guy and clearly not in Karl's camp.
Shortly after Wojnarowski's report, John Wall's former teammate took to Twitter.
(* Let's also note that Karl hasn't always been the easiest coach to play for during his career. Does seem a bit strange that he pushed hard for the Kings job knowing Cousins' rep and yet now seems intent on pushing the big man out the door after a short time together.)
The Los Angeles Lakers, owners of the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, are thought to be interested in Cousins. Wojnarowski also reported the Kings are primarily interested in veterans and that essentially the entire roster is available in trade talks. Doesn't seem like one of the best 20 players in the league should be on the list, but hey, go Kings.
Speaking of Wall, the connection between the two always seems to put the Wizards in the trade rumor mix for Cousins. For the most part, we're talking fan fiction, especially since the Wizards handed Marcin Gortat a five-year deal last summer. That doesn't mean management shouldn't kick the tires. We're talking about a 24-year-old center who averaged 24.1 points and 12.7 rebounds last season. We're also talking about him at the center of yet another combustible situation
In the case of Cousins, we're also talking about a master of the emojis.
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