Many fans and experts think that DeMarcus Cousins is the best center in the NBA right now and they are probably right. However, Cousins has not blossomed into a leader and he has not turned the Kings into winners this season.
In the recent episode of Inside the NBA, Kings minority owner Shaquille O’Neal said that he is “hearing talk” that the organization is planning to trade Cousins this season. He mentioned that “Boogie” not having any leadership qualities is causing the Kings to think about parting ways with their All-Star center.
“In the previous years, he’s been hot-headed, he hasn’t shown great leadership qualities yet. He hasn’t shown those leadership qualities, and that’s why I’m hearing talk that if things don’t start to become correct, they may be looking to go in a different direction,” O’Neal said.
DeMarcus Cousins will be a free agent at end of the 2017-18 NBA season but the Kings know that his value will be lower if they try to trade him next summer. With that said, here are the five teams that could make a trade for Cousins at the February deadline.
- Nuggets trade PF Kenneth Faried, PF/C Nikola Jokic, SG Gary Harris and two future first-round picks for DeMarcus Cousins
The most recent trade rumors have linked Cousins to the Nuggets. It should be noted that the 26-year-old big man only got along with one head coach and that is Mike Malone of the Nuggets. The possible trade between the Nuggets and Kings revolves around Cousins and Nikola Jokic.
In this scenario, the Kings will automatically get three starters with Faried at the four, Jokic at the five and Gary Harris at the shooting guard position. The future first round picks will also help the Kings rebuild their team while the Nuggets get their first superstar since Carmelo Anthony.
Add the fact that Cousins can finally reunite with head coach Mike Malone. He can also play the four position with Jusuf Nurkic at center while Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, and Danilo Gallinari wait in the wings to shoot threes.
- Celtics trade PF Amir Johnson, PG Marcus Smart, SF Jae Crowder and the two Nets first round picks for DeMarcus Cousins
The Celtics have been heavily linked with Cousins since last season but this season could be the right time to pull a big trade. Danny Ainge has the two first-round picks from the Nets in the next two drafts that have the potential to be both first overall selections.
Marcus Smart can become the Kings’ point guard of the future while Jae Crowder replaces Rudy Gay, who might also get traded at the deadline. Crowder was rumored to be untouchable last season but with the surprising play of rookie Jaylen Brown, the Celtics might be more open to trading the former Marquette forward.
On the other hand, Boston will finally have their third All-Star and possibly challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cousins is known for his hot-headedness but head coach Brad Stevens could be the guy to finally tame the wild “Boogie.”
Portland Trail Blazers
- Blazers trade PF/C Myers Leonard, SF Al-Farouq Aminu, PF Noah Vonleh and two future first-round picks for DeMarcus Cousins
Another team that has been linked with Cousins early this season are the Blazers. Cousins is a great addition to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum but can two alpha dogs in “Dame” and “Boogie” co-exist in Portland?
The trade scenario above is a little encouraging for the Kings but the good that can come out of it is they can finally move on from Cousins. They will get a stretch four in Leonard, a Rudy Gay replacement in Aminu and a kid with potential in Vonleh.
- Mavericks trade C Andrew Bogut, SG Wesley Matthews, PF Dwight Powell and two future first-round picks for DeMarcus Cousins
Just like with the Blazers, the Mavericks trade scenario is not much but it could help the Kings in the future. Bogut is set to become a free agent after the season which means the Kings will have money to spend on free agent role players.
Matthews would a great addition to the locker while Powell can grow into solid starting power forward. As for the Mavericks, they have head coach Rick Carlisle, who might bring the best of Cousins. Also, the Mavs finally have a great replacement when Dirk Nowitzki retires.
- Cavaliers trade PF Kevin Love, PG Kay Felder and a future first-round pick for DeMarcus Cousins
The Cavaliers are the best team in the NBA right now and it would be foolish for them to make any trades. However, it should be noted that the Cavs and Kings talked about a potential Love-Cousins deal in the offseason.
It should be noted that these are just purely speculative and hypothetical trade scenarios. Nevertheless, expect more NBA trade rumors surrounding DeMarcus Cousins if the Kings continue to falter heading into 2017.
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