It wouldn’t be an NBA trade deadline without a DeMarcus Cousins rumor. Despite Vlade Divac personally telling the media that Cousins will not be trade, despite the fact that Cousins has told the media he wants to stay in Sacramento, despite the fact that Sacramento can make Cousins one of the highest paid players in NBA history this summer... the rumor mill continues to churn out DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors.
Of course, this particular rumor is a little harder to shrug off only because it comes from the King of NBA scoops himself, Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sacramento has been engaging in trade talks on All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in recent days, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 19, 2017
Kings have had recent discussions with New Orleans on Cousins, sources tell @TheVertical. Sac still debating Cousins' future internally.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 19, 2017
Now, none of this may be categorically false. The Kings have probably spoken to a bunch of teams in recent days in anticipation of the trade deadline. But Cousins is the Kings’ greatest asset and everyone knows it. There is always going to be someone inquiring. That doesn’t mean that the Kings are shopping Cousins or that they even want to trade him, but they’d be stupid not to listen.
I also don’t doubt that there are some in the Kings front office or ownership that don’t necessarily want to keep Cousins and build around him. We’ve seen that same divide among our fanbase. But absolutely everything coming from the guys in charge (Vivek Ranadivé and Vlade Divac) has been that building around DeMarcus Cousins is the plan.
According to Mike Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Pelicans reported offer is centered around Buddy Hield and multiple future picks. That almost makes Phoenix’s reported offer of picks, Alex Len and T.J. Warren look appealing.
I’m sure this won’t be the last Cousins-based rumor before Thursday’s deadline. But keep in mind that a lot of what gets floated around before the trade deadline tends to be hot air. We’ll keep you updated on any further reports.
UPDATE 3:43 P.M.
Cousins’ agent has responded:
(1 of 2) Agent Jarinn Akana tells @TheVertical: "We met w/ Vlade and ownership and they assured us and DeMarcus that he's not being traded."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 19, 2017
(2 of 2): Akana: "As far as we're concerned, nothing has changed."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 19, 2017
UPDATE: 4:41 P.M.
James Ham has confirmed that talks have taken place between Sacramento and New Orleans, and even goes as far as to say that while nothing is imminent, chances are as good as “50-50” of something happening by Thursday. I’m not going to lie, that’s quite a lot higher than I would have thought.
Perhaps some of the reason could be because of Vivek Ranadivé, who might be balking at giving Cousins so much money. From Adrian Wojnarowski:
Sources: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive's waffling on long-term commitment to Cousins has opened door to trade talks. He's gone back and forth.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 20, 2017