There's been a lot of talk lately about a potential Demarcus Cousins trade and I tend to think that the Kings are going to have to move him. In my opinion, the relationship between the two just isn't going to work. I can't cite every example of this, but it doesn't seem like players with supposed attitude problems ever really stick with their original teams long term or turn their careers around with them either. Obviously, Demarcus is still really young at 22, but I don't trust the Kings' management as a whole to be able to help him turn it around.
One of the principle argument's against trading Demarcus is that the Kings would be selling low on him when his value is lowest. And for almost any other organization that statement would be true, but for the Kings I don't know how valid that is. I think as long as he's with the Kings, he's just going to bring more and more negative attention to himself and have detrimental effects on the team chemistry and morale. I just don't believe the Kings as an organization are capable of providing an environment for him to do well in. I think the best bet is to trade him now and bring in some new players to build around and give the team more flexibility for future moves.
My trade idea is a three team deal between the Kings, Suns, and Bobcats: http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=b49tcsm
In this deal, the Kings are bringing in 2 core players in Bismack Biyombo and Jared Dudley. Now Biyombo is a pretty terrible offensive player, but he's already a great defender and shot blocker at a key position. His defense is great now and he's only a 20 years old, and he hasn't gotten any help from his teammates either. At just 20 years old, he has a ton of room for improvement. He's hardworking and I believe in the next season or two, he can get his offense to the point where he isn't a hole on that end. And I don't think it's too optimistic to expect his defense to become elite. Just with experience and playing time, he's going to get better on both sides. He's a bit rough now, but I think with his defensive ability, he could become a game changer. In my opinion, he's the type of dynamic defender that can make his team good defensively on his own like an Omer Asik or a Dwight Howard. I feel like he could have a bunch of bad defenders around and still make his team middle of the back defensively; he's that good.
The other core player coming in through this deal is Jared Dudley, who has one of the best contracts in the NBA. Taken from from Bright Side of the Sun, "Dudley is owed $4.25m per year through 2014/15 w/ a player option at that same amount for 2015/16. Total obligation, $17m over 4 yrs. He's 27 now." I think Jared Dudley could immediately step in after the trade and fill the SF hole the Kings have had since they traded away Ron Artest. Dudley's one of the better shooters in the NBA and is the ultimate glue guy and team player to have.Dudley is the type of player on which winning teams are made. He can shoot, is a smart team defender , and has developed into a crafty passer. Also, he's usually an above average rebounder and has gotten to the free throw line more in past seasons too so this year may just be an outlier. Overall, Dudley's a super efficient wing who can and does contribute to his team in a bunch of different ways, and does a lot of things on the court that don't show up on the stat sheet like taking charges and making the extra pass. Jared Dudley could fit in on any team in the league and would be an especially valuable player on the Kings given the need for a SF, 3 pt. shooting, and team players.
The last addition the Kings would be making is flexibility through draft picks and getting rid of bad contracts. The Kings would receive either the Bobcats' or Pistons' first round pick in this deal. The draft pick would be a future lottery pick that would likely net the Kings a top 10 protected pick that could go as high as the 2nd pick in a future draft if it belongs to the Pistons'. In addition to a future lottery pick, the Kings are gaining future cap room flexibility. in this deal, the Kings are getting out of pretty much every bad contract on their roster and replacing them with short to expiring deals. Salmons and Travis Outlaw's contracts are moved and swapped for an expiring player in Diop. The other swap is Marcus Thornton for Ben Gordon. I made this move specifically, not just to make the salaries match. I see Marcus Thornton as a redundant player on the Kings after Jimmer's emergence this season. I don't think he'sworth the 8M he'll be paid for each of the next 2 seasons after this one. He's a great scorer who hardly turns the ball over. I understand that , but at the same time, he's a middling shooter who hardly ever moves the ball. In my opinion, Ben Gordon brings many of the same things Thornton does, while also being a far superior playmaker and shooter. And Ben Gordon's contract expires a year sooner so his won't hamstrung the Kings financially. With this deal made, the only long term contract left that could be considered not a good deal would be Chuck Hayes' and he could be amnestied and signed by another team very easily.