This latest news about George Karl pushing for a trade of DeMarcus Cousins does not surprise me in the least. I've seen many Kings fans question the report, but it jibes with both what I've heard behind the scenes and what's been said in public.
If George Karl continues to press this issue, the Kings will be forced to make a tough choice: side with their 24 year old All-Star Center, or side with their future Hall of Fame coach that they made such a big deal out of hiring last season. At this point, it's unclear how the relationship between Karl and Cousins can be salvaged, and it's hard to see a successful future for the Kings without Karl and Cousins on the same page.
This is not an easy choice, and it's yet another ripple effect from the disastrous decision to fire Michael Malone back in December. Vlade's first few months on the job could not face a more difficult challenge, and while I love Vlade, his inexperience in managing an NBA front office worries me greatly.
Karl isn't helping matters either. Rather than attempt to reconcile with Cousins (who is under contract for three more years), Karl seems to be pushing all in on getting the Kings to move Cousins. The fact that Wojnarowski mentions that Karl is even trying to get fellow players on the team on his side is damning and considering at least some of those players are telling Cousins, there appears to be a rift down the middle of this team that threatens to end their 2015-16 season before it even begins.
The Kings can't go into this season with yet more chaos. They also can't go about rebuilding this team if they don't know whether Cousins and/or Karl are around for the long haul. How do you invest resources and make trades to build the team a certain way if your best player and your head coach can't get along? That's just delaying the inevitable and setting yourself up for yet another potentially long rebuilding situation with pieces that don't belong together.
Yesterday, when I saw the report that Cousins' camp had privately asked for a trade, I scoffed. Now I'm not so sure. Why wouldn't DeMarcus want to be traded? Why would you want to play for a coach that has no interest in trying to coach you?
We'll see what happens in the following days. Needless to say, it still sucks to be a Sacramento Kings fan.