It may be New Year's Eve, but that doesn't mean TNT's David Aldridge is taking a break from his weekly Morning Tip piece on NBA.com. In this week's column, Aldridge recaps the top 10 stories of 2012, including the Lakers' coaching carousel, the Dwightmare, and LeBron James' first NBA championship. He also dishes a few rumors on the Nets' coaching search and DeMarcus Cousins' availability, so let's check out the highlights:
- According to Aldridge, the Nets thought that Avery Johnson carried his desire for a contract extension too far, considering plenty of other respected coaches around the league began coaching in the final year of their respective contracts without extensions.
- While the Nets are saying P.J. Carlesimo will get a shot to prove he deserves to be the team's permanent head coach, Phil Jackson is still expected to get the first call if and when Brooklyn begins a coaching search in earnest. "It's Phil," a league coaching source tells Aldridge. "That's coming straight from Russia."
- Kings GM Geoff Petrie insists that Cousins is not on the trade block in Sacramento: "He's not going anywhere. You can lay that to rest. Some of that stuff lives in its own reality." However, Aldridge hears from sources that the Kings are ready to consider moving the volatile big man for "a package of less talented, perhaps, but more emotionally grounded players."
- Some members of the Kings were surprised when Cousins was reinstated and showed up for practice so soon after being suspended, and weren't overly moved by his attempt to apologize. "When he apologized to the team, two players stood up and said 'we've heard this bull(bleep) before,'" a source tells Aldridge. "'You're either going to be with us, or you're not. We don't want to hear any more excuses.'"
- Examining teams with rumored interest in Cousins, Aldridge makes note of some potential roadblocks: The Celtics would be reluctant to part with Avery Bradley in any trade, the Pistons wouldn't be eager to pair Cousins with Andre Drummond, who Aldridge says "has his own growing up to do," and the Wizards likely wouldn't want to take on someone of questionable character after clearing the roster of that sort of player within the last year.