The Sacramento Kings find themselves in quite a mess. Rumors surfaced on Monday that the Kings might be exploring trade options for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Later Monday evening, Vivek Ranadivé spoke with USA Today's Sam Amick and reiterated, again, that the Kings had no interest in trading DeMarcus. Roughly one hour later came the following bomb from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Yahoo Sources: Sacramento Kings coach George Karl pushing to trade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. http://t.co/wUoSkiDdUr— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 23, 2015
There's a lot to unpack here. Let's dive into the muck.
First and foremost, this entire mess has Dan Fegan's stench all over it. Who benefits from Cousins playing in a market like LA instead of Sacramento? Dan Fegan. Who has a long history of creating havoc to get his clients into situations he considers more appealing? Dan Fegan. Who orchestrated the internal strife between Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy, resulting in a young, all-star center being traded to the Lakers? Dan Fegan. The Sacramento Kings have a Dan Fegan problem, that's clear.
The Kings also have a George Karl problem, if this report is to be believed. According to the report, Karl has been trying to build a faction of execs and teammates to convince Vivek of the need to trade Cousins. It also indicates that Karl has been working in an unofficial capacity to find trade partners. If these allegations are true, and that's a big if, George Karl should be terminated as coach of the Sacramento Kings. That said, I'm skeptical of the report's sources.
So what happens next? Trade a 24-year old All-Star who is widely considered one of the top centers in the game when you have him on a great contract long term? Fire the Hall of Fame coach you just hired after a huge mess of a coaching search that also included dragging Cousins' name through the media mud? There's no clear out. Trading Cousins is easiest, but also probably the worst possible solution for the organization.
The Kings have rearranged the deck chairs, but the ship is still sinking. The team needs to get everyone on the same page before the new season begins. There's no blaming Pete D'Alessandro for this mess. Vlade Divac was already under a lot of scrutiny, but his job just became infinitely harder.