Kings fans like me have always been against trading DeMarcus Cousins. For years we have seen the potential of a fully engaged Boogie. We have rabidly defended DMC and blamed the losing culture, the coaching carousel, the crazy owners, and the poorly assembled rosters. Unfortunately, I have slowly moved away from those positions over the past few months. There have been too many blowups, too many skipped media sessions, too many disappointments, too much outer blame and not enough personal accountability from Cousins. I don't see a future where he leads us to a championship. It's time to blow things ups and try to rebuild from scratch. The question then becomes when to trade him? There are advantages and disadvantages for trading him at the deadline as well as trading him after the season. I'll let you decide when the best time would be:
I am listing some trade possibilities below. Some trades are with different players, but the same team. Obviously, we wouldn't trade different assets, but get the same returns. I also tried not to overvalue DeMarcus as I have in the past. Although he may be an All-Star, he is also an inefficient shooter, a problem in the locker room, and regularly takes off plays on both sides of the floor.
Advantages of trading Cousins at the deadline:
1. Full return of other assets: If we are trading Boogie, we must truly restart this whole process and not half-ass it like we have for the last ten years. As the great Ron Swanson once said "Never half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing." There are teams out there that need a PG and would be willing to surrender a young asset or a pick to acquire Rondo. He has value for the right team and his assist totals and A/TO ratio have both been spectacular this year. Here are some potential trade scenarios for Rondo at the deadline:
Chicago: Rondo, Anderson
Sac: Mirotic, Hinrich
This trade would have to occur after Chicago trades Derrick Rose, which I believe they will do before the season is over. It gives Chicago a true point guard to pair with Jimmy Butler and should help with some of their offensive woes. The Kings get a young player in Mirotic and Hinrich makes the salaries work. I would love to get the rights to our pick back as well, but I don't think Chicago gives us that much.
Sac: Trey Lyles, 2016 first rounder, top 8 protected.
Utah is injury ravaged and doesn't have a solid, healthy point guard. This gives Utah the PG they need to make a playoff run and doesn't cost them a ton in return. The protections on the pick also ensure they aren't in a hole if they collapse and don't make the playoffs. The Kings get a young player, but more importantly, a pick out of Rondo.
Sac: Calderon, Grant
This trade gives NY another very good player to pair with Anthony and Porzingis. It would also give NY a chance to possibly resign Rondo in the offseason if he likes it there. The Kings would be getting back a young player as well as a solid, all-around player in Calderon.
2. Rudy is dealt as well. Once we decide to blow things up, teams will be aware and will be looking to acquire our assets. Rudy Gay is a good asset for the right team. We can also deal him in the offseason, but here are some trades that could occur at the deadline.
Bos: Rudy Gay
Sac: D. Lee, 2016 first rounder top 10 protected
Danny Ainge has talked about needing another scorer on the team and Rudy Gay could fit that bill. The Kings get a pick out of Rudy and the expiring of David Lee
Chicago: Rudy Gay
Sac: J. Noah, pick back
This trade gives Chicago the wing scorer they seem to desperately need and doesn't cost them a ton in return. Noah is broken down and not producing like he used to. Chicago simply gives us the rights to our pick back and walks away with little damage. The Kings get the rights to their pick back and the expiring of Noah. Noah can also be a good influence on any young assets we acquire in other trades.
3. No injury concerns. Boogie has been hurting and usually severe injuries occur when a player is already slightly injured. Cousins seriously injuring himself would destroy his trade value. These nagging injuries could hang around throughout the season and also cause teams to question his durability.
4. Preemptive trade demands. Boogie's value decreases the moment he demands a trade. The Kings would go from possible sellers to desperate seller and we probably wouldn't be able to get the return we want.
Bos: Cousins, Butler
Sac: A. Bradley, E. Turner, K. Olynyk, Brooklyn pick (probable top 3)
I think this is my favorite of the possible in-season DMC trades. The Kings get two solid pieces in Bradley and Olynyk as well as a top three pick. Boston gets Cousins and a veteran in Butler.
Sac: Hickson, Nelson, Lauvergne, 2016 1st rounder 2016 first rounder
This trade reunites Boogie with Malone and gives Denver a star player. Sacramento gets Lauvergne, an intriguing talent, and a first rounder.
Sac: Landry, Okafor, Covington, Thunder pick (probably low 20's)
Sacramento gets a potential star in Okafor, a solid wing in Covington, and a first rounder. Philly gets back to respectability.
Sac: Randle, Russell, Bass, future 1st
This is the trade that has been discussed since the 2015 draft. I think this is my least favorite trade for the Kings.
Advantages of trading Cousins after the season
1. Known value of draft picks. The Kings can trade for Boston's Brooklyn pick, but that could anywhere in the top five slots. The number one overall draft pick is much more valuable than the number four draft pick. The same can be said for Philly or Los Angeles. If Philly wins the lottery:
Sac: Ben Simmons (selected by Philly), Covington, Landry, return of pick swaps
This is the perfect trade for both teams. It would allow Philly to swing Okafor or Embiid for other assets and begins to bring them along the road to respectability. The whole point of tanking is to acquire assets to use in the future. This will be the climax of the Philly tanking plan. There are plenty of teams out there that would give up quite a bit for Okafor or Embiid. It could also turn into a three team trade if Philly wants to keep Okafor, land another star player and send us the pick. Sacramento gets a future star in Simmons as well as a solid wing in Covington.
2. Rebuilding from the top-down. If we decide to rebuild, we need to get rid of Karl and get a fresh face for the young assets we are going to acquire. Scotty Brooks, Thibs, or McHale could be potential candidates. Vlade may need to go as well, although I wouldn't hate keeping him. If we do keep Vlade, he needs to be given full reign to bring in his coach and his system along with his players. Hopefully, Vivek has backed away enough to realize this point.
3. Cap jump. The cap jump will mean teams have more room to receive incoming salary and that would make trades for Cousins a little bit easier.
In the end, if we do decide to blow things up, we need to trade Boogie, Rudy, Rondo (if he is still with the team), Bellinelli, and Koufos. I think Collison, Casspi, McLemore, WCS, and Curry are all good pieces to keep. I'm done with the DeMarcus Cousins era in Sacramento and I'm certain you are as well.