Kings general manager Vlade Divac has insisted trading DeMarcus Cousins is “off the table.” Divac even bothered other general managers by not returning their calls, and you can bet some of those were about Cousins.
Will Sacramento maintain this stance on Cousins?
I’m sure Sacramento will look seriously at moving Cousins this summer.
The Kings should look into trading Cousins. They’ve gone 24-58, 22-44, 28-54, 28-54, 29-53 and are now 26-41 since drafting him. This formula clearly isn’t working. No option should be taken off the table.
Sacramento would ideally like a star like Cousins to lead a successful team into its new arena next season. But the Kings would be foolish to shift the optimal arc of their franchise to coincide with a stadium opening.
Cousins has two more seasons after this one remaining on his contract. Wait another year to deal him, and teams will hesitate to offer much, fearing he’d leave in free agency and/or believing they could just sign him outright.
Sacramento has probably depressed Cousins’ value too far already by surrounding him with ineffective teammates and coaches. The Kings’ struggles have highlighted Cousins’ worst traits, and he has been branded as a hothead who doesn’t do the little things necessary to win.
So, I doubt Sacramento gets a suitable offer. The Kings certainly shouldn’t look to dump Cousins. He’s a fantastic player, young and on a reasonable contract. I’d explore the market, but the asking price should be high.
Whether or not Sacramento keeps Cousins, it should address its bigger problems – owner Vivek Ranadivé’s confounding directives and Divac’s lack of qualifications to run a front office. Trading Cousins won’t fix those. It’d just position different players to deal with them.