Report: Julius Randle ‘in play’ in Lakers-Kings DeMarcus Cousins trade talks

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The Lakers want to trade for DeMarcus Cousins.

George Karl wants Cousins traded.

But the Kings coach must convince owner Vivek Ranadivé and front-office head Vlade Divac, both of whom said the center won’t be dealt. A key factor: what Sacramento can get in return.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

Julius Randle is in play, according to an NBA source, as well as the No. 2 pick in Cousins trade talk

If the Lakers’ offer is one or the other, it’s hard to see a trade happening. But if they’re offering both the No. 2 pick and Randle, we might be onto something.

If I were the Lakers, I’d trade No. 2 and Randle for Cousins.

Cousins has star production, superstar potential and a contract that has three years and $51 million remaining. That’s a bargain as the salary cap skyrockets. And Cousins is just 24.

He has attitude issues, which are the only reason he’s available. You have to take a chance on something, and I’d gamble on Cousins maturing in a different environment.

I’m not sure Sacramento would go for it, though. Not only might not that be enough value in a vacuum, the Kings appear bent on winning now. A rookie and someone with one game of NBA experience might not appeal to them.

But if the Lakers are willing to surrender fair value, that gets the ball rolling – perhaps for a three-way trade with No. 2 and Randle going to a team thinking more long-term and that team sending veterans to Sacramento.

The Lakers are short on assets. It’s nearly impossible to see them trading for Cousins without including No. 2 and Randle. But if they’re willing to do that, we might be onto something.