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Kings’ executive Vlade Divac: “DeMarcus is untradeable”

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings

NBAE/Getty Images

Kings’ coach Goerge Karl has fueled the hopes and dreams of Celtics fans — and a lot of other fan bases — when he said that he’s never had a player that is untradeable.

Did that mean DeMarcus Cousins could be available? Trade rumors started to fly on Celtics message boards and across NBA fandom. Cousins is as good a traditional big man as there is in the game and is a franchise cornerstone kind of piece.

Which is why the Kings are not going to trade him.

Those aren’t my words, they are the words of Kings’ decision maker Vlade Divac on SiriusXM NBA Radio Tuesday night before the Draft Lottery (Divac was in New York to represent the Kings at the lottery).

“Well, I think, you know, Coach kind of step it up further than he should and, of course, everybody has their opinion but right now, if we’re talking about today, yeah, DeMarcus is untradeable. He’s a guy who we’re going to try to build around and see where he’s going to take us.”

If you want to keep your trade dreams alive Boston, you can rightly note that no GM would say “this guy is on the trade block” even if he were. It’s about leverage.

That said, this isn’t the first time word has leaked out that the Kings planned to keep Cousins.

Kings’ ownership and Divac see Cousins for what he is, a cornerstone piece. If you’re going to move him, it’s going to take a lot more than the No. 16 pick and some prospects to get the job done — you’ll demand another young, foundational piece in return. And even then they might balk.

Cousins has three seasons left on his deal in Sacramento, the guy making the decisions wants to keep him, and frankly he can work well in Karl’s system — Cousins is exceptional when he runs the floor. It’s just getting him to do it consistently that’s the challenge (ask Coach K of Team USA).