I guess playing hard to get really does work. Despite Vlade Divac saying repeatedly that DeMarcus Cousins is not available, it is seemingly not stopping anybody from trying. According to a new report, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as the most aggressive and determined suitor.
Sources told ESPN that the Lakers have been actively pursuing trade scenarios in recent weeks in attempt to construct a deal that would convince the Kings to part with Cousins.
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 themselves don't appear to have the assets required to get Cousins alone (their top assets include this year's #2 pick as well as last year's selections of Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson), which is why it makes sense that they'd try to rope another team in. Still, however determined the Lakers are, I don't see the Kings parting ways with Cousins unless they get absolutely blown away with an offer. I believe Vlade and Vivek when they say they don't want to trade Cousins, which is why I don't see anything panning out this summer.
We'll see just how determined the Lakers are in the coming days, but even if nothing happens (as I suspect), put a pin in this in case things go south for Sacramento early on in the season.