THURSDAY, 3:15pm: The Lakers are unwilling to part with Julius Randle in the Cousins trade talks, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The scribe adds that Randle has dropped 20 pounds and improved his outside shot.
WEDNESDAY, 10:18pm: The Kings and Lakers have exchanged frameworks for potential deals for Cousins, and talks are expected to intensify on Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports relays. The Kings have also started to engage with teams and explore possible trade scenarios beyond the Lakers, Wojnarowski’s sources have informed him. Sacramento is reportedly seeking the No. 2 overall pick, Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and other draft assets in return for Cousins, Wojnarowski adds. The Kings would also want to unload forward Carl Landry‘s contract in any deal, according to the Yahoo! scribe’s sources. Los Angeles is currently unwilling to part with Randle, and are reluctant to do so with Clarkson as well, according to Wojnarowski.
3:06pm: Cousins “would not be unhappy” if the Lakers acquired him, a league source tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, and he’d be thrilled if the Kings traded him to a large market or a playoff team, as Medina heard a source familiar with Cousins’ thinking.
WEDNESDAY, 2:23pm: The Lakers are offering the No. 2 pick as the teams continue to talk, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. L.A. would probably have to include Randle, too, according to Bresnahan, but it’s not clear if he is indeed in any proposal so far.
TUESDAY, 9:17am: The Magic aren’t involved, a league source tells Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Randle and the No. 2 pick are “in play” for a trade that brings Cousins to the Lakers, a source tells Chris Mannix of SI.com, who writes in his mock draft. Still, Sacramento would rather take back veterans, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported overnight.
4:46pm: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has also made it clear publicly that he doesn’t want to trade Cousins, and that’s been the case privately as well, according to Jones, as well as Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter links).
MONDAY, 3:54pm: The Lakers, Kings and Magic have had exploratory talks about a proposal that wound send DeMarcus Cousins to the Lakers, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. However, the Kings and Sacramento vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac continue to insist that Cousins is off limits, Stein notes. Still, the Lakers have “actively pursuing” trade possibilities over the past few weeks to find a way to get the talented 24-year-old to L.A., as Stein details.
Stein mentions the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic as someone who could theoretically step in for Cousins at center in Sacramento, but it’s unclear if Vucevic has been a part of the talks. Stein lists Julius Randle and the No. 2 pick as trade assets for the Lakers, but it’s similarly uncertain whether the Lakers have spoken about giving them up. The Nuggets have drawn increasing mention as a team likely to go after Cousins since Denver’s hiring of ex-Kings coach Michael Malone this month, according to Stein. Still, they don’t have the sort of trade chips that would allow them to compete with the Celtics, whom Stein reported last month were also likely suitors, the ESPN scribe writes. Realistically, a host of teams would seemingly have interest in trading for Cousins, who’d become the top trade candidate on the market if the Kings relent and give him up.
Divac has said time and again that he values Cousins and isn’t looking to trade him, at one point calling him “untradeable.” The notion that he might be on the block was ignited earlier this season amid Sacramento’s pair of midseason coaching changes. Cousins, who connected with Malone, released a statement expressing support for then-candidate George Karl, whom the team has since hired. The Kings also hired Divac late in the season to a role that put him in charge of basketball operations and displaced GM Pete D’Alessandro, who’s now with the Nuggets. Cousins has asked not to be traded, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes (Twitter link).
Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.