Has Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé been won over — or bullied into submission — by coach George Karl?
Ranadivé had been opposed to trading DeMarcus Cousins, but he’s let GM Vlade Divac talk to teams about it and Divac and the Lakers have the framework of a deal — a pricey one for the Lakers. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings exchanged frameworks of a trade centered on All-Star DeMarcus Cousins on Wednesday and discussions could intensify on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo Sports….
Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac has pursued a possible deal that would include a bevvy of assets, including the Lakers’ No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson and other draft assets, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Sacramento also would want to unload the remainder of forward Carl Landry’s two years, $13.5 million contract, league sources said.
That move would give the Lakers the star they have been looking for, and someone who could continue the tradition of great centers wearing Lakers purple and gold (or, Forum Blue, if you prefer).
But that is at a steep cost — three young, quality assets. Most likely the Lakers would want to reduce that by one (say, keeping Clarkson) and getting the No. 6 pick of the Kings. This is a negotiation, but the Kings may not back down.
Cousins had not pushed for a trade from the Kings — he said on twitter Wednesday he “absolutely” wants to stay with Kings — but with Karl trying to push him out the door, he and his camp have been more open to the idea. Cousin’s agent has worked to steer him to Los Angeles, but other teams such as the Boston Celtics have wanted in on the discussions.
Ranadivé refused to do a deal with Denver, where former Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and coach Mike Malone have been hired, according to Wojnarowski.
It’s hard to imagine Ranadivé approving a trade with the Lakers that isn’t a massive haul for the Kings — trading the best and most popular player on your roster to your most-hated rival is how owners become hated. This would not go over well in Sacramento.
Still, if it’s all three young players it’s an interesting package for the Kings, coming close to getting real value back for Cousins.
But is the owner going to let the coach dictate the direction of the franchise and push everyone around like this?