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Report: NBA executives increasingly think Kings will trade DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings v Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 03: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings reacts to a foul during the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on November 3, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

The Kings are bad. DeMarcus Cousins is frustrated. Sacramento could trade Cousins.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

there’s reason to think that by the time February’s trade deadline comes around, Cousins will no longer be with the Kings — and a move could come in the first half of December. That’s the speculation among front office executives around the league, at least.

“I’d say they have three months, tops,” one Western Conference general manager told Sporting News, requesting anonymity because he is not allowed to speak about other teams’ players. “Probably more like a month, or month-and-a-half, because the closer they get to the (February trade) deadline, the less they’re going to get back. If you’re trying to trade him the week of the deadline, it’s going to be tougher.”

My initial reaction was opposing teams are just agitating for Sacramento to trade Cousins, who is incredibly talented, reasonably young, already productive and locked up into 2018. And I’m sticking with that.

But Kings minority owner Shaquille O’Neal suggested the Kings could trade Cousins. Is it that unreasonable rival teams have similar expectations?

Sacramento probably cares too much internally about winning now to trade Cousins yet. I don’t buy that his value will drop much between now and the trade deadline. He’d still have plenty of time to help his new team secure playoff position and get acclimated in time for the postseason.

But if the Kings (4-7) keep struggling, they should look harder at dealing their franchise player. His value will drop considerably once his contract becomes expiring this summer.