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Kings Rumors: Rondo, Cousins, Mbah a Moute

Rajon Rondo had wanted to play with DeMarcus Cousins for a while, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, who hears from the point guard about just how enticing the chance to play with his fellow former Kentucky Wildcat is.

“What made me comfortable is them having the best big man in the game,” Rondo said of Cousins. “It was a pretty easy decision. I think he’s definitely an MVP candidate and I look forward to playing with him and helping him grow as a player.”

Of course, plenty of rumors suggest Cousins isn’t long for Sacramento, but Rondo told Kennedy that he thinks much of the reported acrimony between Cousins and coach George Karl has been overblown. Rondo had plenty of kind words for the Mavericks despite his turmoil in Dallas, but he makes it clear he’s excited about Sacramento. There’s more on Rondo amid the latest from the California capital:

  • Rondo’s one-year contract with the Kings is worth $9.5MM, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Michael Malone said he felt “awful” for Tyrone Corbin, who guided a struggling Kings team after Sacramento fired Malone as coach in December last year, but the new Nuggets coach also told Grantland’s Zach Lowe that the Kings’ losing ways under Corbin “validated the job that my staff and I did.”
  • Malone also dished to Lowe on his relationship with Cousins. “That relationship was constant work. Constant. But we came to a deep respect,” Malone said in part.
  • The Kings had signed Luc Mbah a Moute for $1.55MM, an above-minimum salary, before voiding his contract Thursday because he failed his physical, Pincus tweets.
  • Kings coach George Karl said he and management wanted to re-sign Derrick Williams but simply couldn’t afford him, as the coach tells Marc Berman of the New York Post. A source close to Karl who spoke to Berman nonetheless impugned Williams’ basketball IQ and said Karl tore into the forward on one occasion for his lack of rebounding. Williams left for a two-year, $8.8MM deal with the Knicks. “It was more of fitting the finances and making the finances work,’’ Karl said. “There are other pieces we wanted and we couldn’t have enough money for him.’’

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