Among Cleveland's various trade targets this week, ESPN sources say that the Cavs have pursued Sacramento big man Kosta Koufos— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 15, 2016
Marc Stein would elaborate on the above-posted tweet in an article for ESPN that just went live minutes ago.
Marc Stein, Via ESPN -
Sources say that the Cavs, though, have been more and more active in recent days in pursuing upgrades to their bench, with center Timofey Mozgov and swingman Iman Shumpert -- both in the midst of down seasons after their mid-season arrivals in 2014-15 -- said to be available. Players who interest Cleveland, sources say, include dream target Kyle Korver (who would naturally be very difficult to pry from Atlanta) and Kings reserves Ben McLemore and Kosta Koufos.
The aforementioned McLemore, sources say, is working with the Kings to try to find a new home via trade. Sacramento made the same pledge to veteran swingman Caron Butler as far back as December.
Word is that the Kings, who are desperate to end a playoff drought spanning nine seasons and counting before moving into a new building next season, prefer immediate help in trade talks more than future picks.
This is coming just a week after ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that the Kings declined an offer from the Cavaliers that would have sent the Kings Timofey Mozgov.
Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes reported a couple of days ago that the Cavaliers were one of the teams interesting Ben McLemore, which I only mention here to say that it's clear the Cavaliers and the Kings are talking about a lot of things.
We know the Cavaliers like Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore. We know the Kings don't want Timofey Mozgov.
I like Koufos quite a bit, and while I'm hesitant to say "don't trade him" everything is offer dependent. The emergence of Willie Cauley-Stein does make Koufos a little more expendable than some of the Kings' other assets, and Quincy Acy is a pretty good backup big to add to the regular rotation if Koufos gets moved.
Stein's last note about the Kings working with McLemore to 'find a new home' is really strange. Are we to assume McLemore's agents are putting some kind of pressure on Vlade Divac to move his client? If so, that is a pretty bold move for a third-year player who hasn't really accomplished anything.
I do feel as though both the Kings and McLemore could use a separation. I don't know who has been worse for the other, the Kings' dysfunction and coaching turnover has certainly hurt McLemore's development, and yet the lack of production the Kings have gotten out of the shooting guard position since McLemore arrived has been equally disastrous.
Iman Shumpert is an interesting trade target, and one I'd welcome to Sacramento should a deal take place. He's having a down year, but he's played in deep playoff series', and has a reputation around the league as a very good defender, something the Kings sorely need on the perimeter. That contract, considering his offensive production this season, doesn't look pretty, but with the cap jumping up this offseason I'm sure his deal won't look any worse than what we're about to see this summer.
Hey, welcome back, trade season!