DeMarcus Cousins is back in the rumor mill—this time without the usual accompanying anecdote detailing an irreparable rift between he and Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl.
Sources told Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto that the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are all trying their hand at prying Cousins out of Sacramento:
Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has drawn significant trade interest from the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, league sources tell SheridanHoops.
Sacramento is listening, but the Kings are in a holding pattern and currently have no plans to make a deal despite sitting in 13th place in the 15-team Western Conference, the sources said.
But should owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Vlade Divac and coach George Karl decide to change course, they have been made acutely aware what is available from the Celtics, Heat and Bulls.
All is quiet on the Karl-Cousins front, so this rumor feels out of place. At the same time, the relationship between Cousins and the Sacramento organization is beyond imperfect, and the Kings, despite their aggressive offseason plays, still don’t look like a 35-win team.
Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein (still sidelined) plays the same position as Cousins, and the latter is reaching a point in his career where winning something, anything becomes a non-negotiable priority. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Kings and Cousins decide to cut bait with one another.
The Celtics have always seemed like the natural suitor if that’s the route Sacramento takes. They’re flush with young assets, reasonable contracts and future draft picks, whereas the Bulls and Heat can only offer the Kings packages built mostly around win-now talent—which essentially eliminates them from Cousins contention, assuming this is a competition at all.