Sacramento decision maker Vlade Divac has made it clear: He doesn’t want to trade DeMarcus Cousins. So stop asking, unless you’re offering Michael Jordan.
Yet, in the wake of Cousins’ frustrations with the constantly shifting plans of the Kings ownership, plus coach George Karl saying he never had an untradable player, the offers keep coming. Even though they are all long-shots. At best.
The latest long shot is from the Los Angeles Lakers, in a possible three-way deal with Orlando, as reported by Marc Stein at ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as one of the most determined trade suitors for Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, according to league sources….
Sources say that the Lakers, Kings and Orlando Magic have had exploratory dialogue on a three-way Cousins trade that would land the 24-year-old in Los Angeles. All three teams hold top-six picks in Thursday’s NBA draft, and Orlando has a young top-flight center of its own in Nikola Vucevic, who could theoretically fill the Cousins void….
The Lakers would appear to have limited assets to get into the trade sweepstakes for Cousins — in the event Sacramento’s stance changes — beyond surrendering prized young big man Julius Randle and/or the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s draft.
How do you think Sacramento trading its best and most popular player by far to the hated Los Angeles Lakers would go over with an already frustrated fan base?
I can’t see this happening. For one thing, it’s going to take more than the Lakers’ No. 2 pick — which would be Duke’s big man Jahlil Okafor. No way the Lakers would give up Randle and the No. 2, but would the Lakers surrender Jordan Clarkson and the No. 2? It’s likely going to take at least that — and that may not be enough.
All that’s if you can get the Kings to change their minds. Which is unlikely at best.
The Lakers can poke around a little, but they are better off with a young nucleus of Clarkson, Randle and Okafor.
Okafor would be good with that, he told NBC’s Sports ProBasketballTalk on Monday that he did see a fit in Los Angeles. And he likes the idea of playing with Kobe Bryant.
“I think I can learn a ton,” Okafor said of playing with Bryant in what might be Kobe’s final season. “He’s been in the NBA a while, he came into the league early — I think he was younger than me when he came into the league — so I want to pick his brain and learn as much as I can….
“It’s all about he wants to win. So do I.”
That sounds like a good Lakers foundation.