November 14, 2016, 1:01 pm
Another DeMarcus Cousins rumor has surfaced amidst a slow start in Sacramento, so thank heavens my fainting couch is nearby. Cousins may not be a King past the deadline, if the latest in a long line of anonymous sources predicting a Boogie trade are finally correct.
Sporting News has the scoop, with one anonymous Western Conference GM saying ““I’d say they have three months, tops. Probably more like a month, or month-and-a-half, because the closer they get to the 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.”
Firstly, it’s tough to take any Cousins rumor seriously at this point. Enough people have cried wolf that these reports fall on deaf ears unless there’s substantial information behind them. To simply say that the Kings will trade Cousins because they’re floundering is bottom of the barrel analysis from this GM.
There’s also the fact that any concerns with Cousins only serve to widen the value gap. The off-court nonsense and knowledge of Cousins’ true demeanor probably makes him more valuable to Sacramento than any potential dance partner, thus adding to the difficulty of a monster deal. And really, Cousins hasn’t exactly been provided the organizational infrastructure to excel. He certainly has excelled, but rarely with the front office and coaching staff on the same page. Cousins has been an electrifying talent that has never really had the support of those around him- either on the court, on the bench, or in the luxury suites. Some of that could certainly fall at Cousins’ feet, but I tend to think the lack of cohesion lies more on the organization than a single player.
Secondly, it’s foolish to use Kings’ part-owner Shaquille O’Neal’s recent comments as evidence one way or the other. Shaq, despite his role with the team, doesn’t seem like he’d be totally in the know about basketball decisions. Not to mention his penchant for saying whatever is on his mind. The same attributes that make him an affable TV presence don’t exactly translate to being a reliable oracle for major transactions.
Lastly, this makes absolutely zero sense given what the Kings have stated publicly about Rudy Gay. Gay has requested a trade and informed the team that he won’t re-sign this offseason when he becomes a free agent. That’s more than fair. The Kings reportedly are holding off on acquiescing for the time being, hoping to contend under new coach Dave Joerger while proving to Gay that Sacramento is on the right path. It’s incredibly unlikely that Gay can be convinced to stick around but apparently the Kings are going to try.
So let’s put two and two together:
The Kings are refusing to trade a player who has made it known that he would like to leave and won’t be back anyway because they think they can convince him to stay. And yet we’re supposed to believe the Kings would jump ship on a far superior player, with an extra year of control on a contract that produces infinitely more bang for the buck? They want to recoup value for Cousins but are content with losing Gay for nothing?
I’m not buying this one. It’s the Kings, so we can’t discount anything, but it’s highly unlikely that this goes beyond the usual scuttlebutt.