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Evaluating rumors during draft week

There are lies, damned lies, and the week of the draft.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, did you guys hear the one about DeMarcus Cousins requesting that the Sacramento Kings trade him? The report came from Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Windhorst, though a fine reporter, isn't exactly known for breaking news regarding the Sacramento Kings. This came in the middle of the Monday afternoon rumor storm that also included the Lakers pursuing a trade for DeMarcus Cousins.

What do make of all this? I'm glad I asked. Find a very large grain of salt, because we're deep in the heart of draft week. Let's take a look at some rumors floating around, in the form of me having a Q&A with myself.

Should I believe anything I read this week?

Only if it includes the terms "have agreed to" or "multiple sources are now confirming". That second one is even shaky unless you start seeing it from multiple reporters or outlets.

Are there any outlets who just make things up?

While it would be unprofessional of me to say yes, I will say that there are some outlets you should pay more attention to than others. There are some that might make things up, but I'd be making things up if I said I knew they made things up.

So should we completely ignore Windhorst?

Not necessarily. Would anyone here be shocked if Boogie asked out? I wouldn't. But that also wouldn't mean anything. The Kings would still have him under contract, and may not be inclined to honor the request. Until Cousins makes a public request, we may never know.

So would the Kings trade Cousins?

They might. Again, would it be surprising? A little, I suppose. But I think we would quickly see a flurry of revelations of just how toxic the situation was behind the scenes.

Does all this smoke mean that something will definitely happen?


But how can that be? There's so much chatter!

Well, the Lakers wanting Cousins doesn't mean much to me. There are 29 other teams that would probably like Cousins on their roster. Besides, this happens on a regular basis when a star player is in a bad situation. Rajon Rondo was in rumors for about five years before finally being traded.

So how do we make sense of all of this?

Look at each report in terms of who benefits from it. Who is helped by a report being leaked? That can usually help you figure out why news is becoming public.

So you mean teams aren't scared by the revelation that Willie Cauley-Stein battles sickle cell?

The revelation he made in December 2013? Nah, I don't think that's impacting his draft stock all of a sudden.

So believe nothing?


Greg, you've been of no help whatsoever.

That's not what my sources say.