As the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason unfolds, there will be many rumors about the direction the team intends to go. There is wide speculation regarding the Lakers’ plans on the coaching staff, the draft, and free agency. The most rampant speculation, however, often comes from trade rumors.
Among the players often rumored to be a trade target of the Lakers is DeMarcus Cousins. The Sacramento Kings’ center was thought to be gone from the team last summer when George Karl reportedly tried to get him traded. Since then, the team has moved on from Karl and hired Dave Joeger, but that has not necessarily quieted the rumors.
Today, however, Kings GM (and #FormerLaker) Vlade Divac did his best to quell any speculation on Cousins being traded:
Kings GM Vlade Divac was asked about trading DeMarcus Cousins today after the presser. 'He's not going to be traded – this year for sure'
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) May 10, 2016
The qualifier makes this more interesting than it should be, but what Divac is saying should not be very surprising. Cousins is one of the best centers in the league and, when he is focused, one of the most dominant players. Additionally, he is still under contract for two more years, meaning he does not necessarily have the leverage to force his way out of Sacramento.
Of course, what Divac is saying could be a front. He may be trying to ramp up Cousins’ trade value or even just pleasing the big man in the event that they do not find a trade that they like. I suspect that Cousins is attainable, but the price is and should be incredibly high.
For the Lakers, even if Cousins were available, it probably would not make sense to make any moves to get him. As great as Boogie is, it would take a monster offer to get him and that would include gutting the team. Would it be worth it, for example, to trade away this year’s first round pick, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson for Cousins? And how much further does a core of Cousins and D’Angelo Russell go than what the Kings have surrounded Cousins with?
As it stands now, those questions may not need answering. If Divac’s words are to be trusted, Cousins is at least temporarily off the trading block.
Unless by “this year,” he meant the league year which means that on July 1st, anything goes.