DeMarcus Cousins Rumors

Kings Open To Trading DeMarcus Cousins?

February 26 at 10:20am CST By Chuck Myron

The Kings wouldn’t rule out trading DeMarcus Cousins or anyone else on their roster at the trade deadline, a person with insight into coach George Karl‘s thinking told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. Karl, who also worked with Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro when they were with the Nuggets, has a level of control over personnel decisions in Sacramento, that source said to Beck. Karl would love to acquire Ty Lawson or any of the other members of the 2012/13 Nuggets, the last team Karl coached, Beck also hears.

There were conflicting reports about whether the Celtics were pursuing Cousins prior to the deadline, but most of the chatter surrounding the star center had to do with his frustration regarding Sacramento’s coaching situation. Cousins was an advocate of former coach Michael Malone and expressed frustration about the upheaval that saw Tyrone Corbin and now Karl succeed Malone this season. Still, Cousins has indicated that he’s enthusiastic about playing for Karl, one of nine NBA coaches with more than 1,000 career wins. The 24-year-old center is in the first season of a four-year max extension.

Tension surrounds Lawson and the Nuggets, and GM Tim Connelly recently exhorted the 27-year-old point guard to “grow up” after he was late returning from the All-Star break. The Kings were among the teams with apparent interest, but while the Nuggets reportedly received calls from numerous would-be suitors, they were turning them away. The team did engage in exploratory talks with the Celtics, several sources told Grantland’s Zach Lowe, but it appeared as the deadline drew near that Denver hadn’t seriously considered any deal. Lawson makes more than $12.404MM next season and in excess of $13.213MM in 2016/17, the final season of his contract.

No trades can take place before the end of the season, since the deadline has passed. Teams are eligible to trade players as soon as the regular season is over if they’re not in the playoffs, but typically moves don’t happen until June.

Celtics Pursuing DeMarcus Cousins?

February 18 at 9:24am CST By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 9:24am: Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald hears “strong word” that nothing has happened regarding the Celtics and Cousins.

MONDAY, 3:12pm: The Celtics are rumored to be trying to pry DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com, but the Kings have given no indication that Cousins is available, Smith cautions. Boston would appear to be basing any such effort on the notion that Cousins, who’s been frustrated with Sacramento’s coaching changes, and new Kings coach George Karl won’t get along, Smith indicates. However, Cousins has expressed enthusiasm about working with Karl.

The C’s have a deep reserve of draft picks and the sizable expiring contracts of Marcus Thornton, Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Bass, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has made it clear for months that he’d like to package his assets for a star. However, stars don’t come easily, and Cousins, who played in his first All-Star Game on Sunday, is having his finest season to date in the first season of a four-year maximum-salary extension.

A more realistic target at the center position for the Celtics would be Enes Kanter, in whom Smith suggests the Celtics also have interest. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com heard from a source last week who said Boston wasn’t expected to make a run at Kanter (Twitter link), though Blakely wrote in a full piece this weekend that the C’s were expected to “keep tabs” on the big man who’s requested a trade from the Jazz. He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer.

Berger’s Latest: Jackson, Kings, Nuggets, Lee

February 17 at 11:36pm CST By Chuck Myron

Reporters make a habit of emptying their notebooks as the deadline draws near, when rumors that would normally make headlines wind up buried beneath the deluge of news. We already passed along highlights from a jam-packed piece that Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports authored tonight, and we’ll do the same with a dispatch from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, who’s also heard plenty:

  • Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group provides some clarity on Lee, saying that the Warriors have always been willing to trade him for assets of value but that the team almost certainly won’t find what it’s looking for on the market. Golden State isn’t likely to simply give away the veteran, a favorite of co-owner Joe Lacob, unless it’s forced to in the offseason, Kawakami adds (All Twitter links).

Earlier updates:

  • Teams around the league expect the Thunder to trade Reggie Jackson before Thursday’s 2pm Central time trade deadline, Berger writes, indicating that they believe tax concerns would be the catalyst for Oklahoma City to make a deal.
  • Sacramento is intent on making an upgrade at the deadline in an effort to please DeMarcus Cousins, sources tell Berger, who identifies Arron Afflalo as the team’s No. 1 target. The Kings are dangling Nik Stauskas to the Nuggets as they seek Afflalo, to the puzzlement of some executives from other teams, Berger hears. The Kings continue to dangle Stauskas to other teams as well, according to Berger.
  • The Nuggets are in “full-on firesale mode,” and, notwithstanding Sacramento’s focus on Afflalo, Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler are the players on Denver’s roster who are drawing the most interest from other teams, Berger writes.
  • Berger indicates that the Warriors are trying to trade David Lee, which conflicts with an earlier report that the team would like to keep him through the season to avoid disrupting chemistry. The CBSSports.com columnist also includes Kevin Martin on a list of players that teams are trying to trade, but Flip Saunders is reportedly showing little interest in doing so. Martin would be destined for a buyout if the Wolves don’t trade him, Berger hears.
  • Milwaukee has fielded offers for Brandon Knight, but the Bucks aren’t biting, sources tell Berger.
  • The Wizards are more likely to sign a free agent who would fill their desire for backcourt help than to make a trade, the CBSSports.com scribe hears.
  • The Clippers are still the front-runners for Tayshaun Prince should he and the Celtics do a buyout deal, according to Berger, who adds that Boston is trying to trade Brandon Bass.

And-Ones: James, D-League, Cousins

February 14 at 5:16pm CST By Eddie Scarito

LeBron James being elected as the vice president of the NBPA means that the union will have another strong voice at the negotiating table, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. A person close to James said that LeBron felt compelled to serve in this role at a crucial and exciting time for the league and its players, Zillgitt notes. James had considered running for NBPA president in the past, the post Chris Paul now occupies, but James had decided that he did not have the necessary free time to devote that the job required, the USA Today scribe adds.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is glad to finally have some stability regarding Sacramento’s coaching situation now that George Karl has been inked to a four-year deal to coach the team, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a coach longer than a year and half maybe,” Cousins said. “It feels good to know I have one for the long haul.
  • Gino Pilato of D-League Digest ran down how the NBA affiliate players have performed thus far in the D-League this season. A number of the players whom Pilato lists could be in line for a 10-day contract from an NBA team this season.
  • With the Chinese Basketball Association’s regular season completed, a number of notable players will now be eligible to return to the NBA. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders runs down some of the more intriguing names who could be difference-makers for teams down the stretch, including Will Bynum, Michael Beasley, Earl Clark, Jordan Crawford, and Al Harrington.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Karl, Thompson, West

February 13 at 12:42pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Kings are poised for trade deadline action after resolving their coaching situation, while in Phoenix, suitors are lining up for Goran Dragic. We’ll run through the latest news and notes from a busy Pacific Division here:

  • DeMarcus Cousins praised new Kings coach George Karl to reporters at All-Star weekend in New York, saying he looked forward to working with him, tweets Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. The center has expressed exasperation with the team’s coaching turmoil.
  • Karl was the right choice for the Kings, argues Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee, who also lists Scott Brooks among the names of coaches who would have been candidates for the Sacramento job if the team hadn’t hired Karl.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr was largely responsible for halting a proposed blockbuster last summer that would have sent Klay Thompson to the Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. Kerr and Warriors team consultant Jerry West talked ownership out of making the swap, which would have also sent David Lee to Minnesota and Kevin Martin to Golden State, Deveney adds. A source close the talks told Deveney that the trade was a done deal until Kerr, who took the job with the expectation of coaching Thompson, and West convinced management not to do it.
  • The jealousy that the Warriors worried might develop when they gave Thompson a more lucrative extension than Stephen Curry got a few years ago hasn’t developed, and Thompson doesn’t regret agreeing to contract terms that might give him less than the max, as Deveney writes in the same piece.
  • West, who made his mark as an executive with the Lakers, is confident the Lakers wouldn’t ask him back, as he said on 95.7 The Game, as station host Matt Steinmetz relays (Twitter links). West’s son, Ryan, is the Lakers’ assistant scouting director, notes Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
  • Trading Dragic would be a wise move because the Suns are not true title contenders, Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic argues. Bickley believes the Suns should be acquiring trade assets in order to make a future move to acquire a superstar talent rather than adding short-term pieces such as Ray Allen or Amar’e Stoudemire. If the Suns can add a first-round pick by swapping Dragic while concurrently breaking their point guard logjam, they should not hesitate, Bickley concludes.

Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Kings, Allen, Lopez, Wolves

February 11 at 10:33am CST By Chuck Myron

DeMarcus Cousins and Tyrone Corbin both called the latest round of Kings coaching upheaval a “distraction,” as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays (Twitter link). Cousins released a statement through his agency saying that he hadn’t been consulted when the team fired Michael Malone and isn’t being consulted now, expressing hope for a quick resolution and support for George Karl should the team choose to hire him. Still, Cousins decried the public chatter of a coaching move while Corbin remains in place. Rudy Gay, who’s hinted at dissatisfaction with Corbin in the past, instead expressed admiration Tuesday for the job Corbin’s done under trying circumstances, as Jones also notes in his story.

While we wait to see how it all plays out in Sacramento, here’s more from around the league:

  • A Nets source tells Windrem that no deal with the Hornets involving Lopez, Stephenson and Zeller was ever that close (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • There’s no guarantee that Ray Allen makes his decision on whether or not he’ll return to the NBA this season within 10 days of All-Star Weekend, as Jim Tanner, Allen’s agent, tells Chris Broussard of ESPN (Twitter link). It was rumored that the 39-year-old sharpshooter was going to make a choice regarding his future shortly after the All-Star break.
  • The Hornets offered Lance Stephenson and Cody Zeller to the Nets last month and were ready to call the league office to finalize the trade, reports Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (All Twitter links). The sides were quite close to agreement, Windrem adds, and so close that people at the D-League Showcase, which was taking place at the time, thought it was a fait accompli, Grantland’s Zach Lowe tweets. It was the closest Brooklyn has come to trading Lopez, Joe Johnson or Deron Williams this year, according to the NetsDaily scribe.
  • The Wolves sent the Hornets $344,462 in cash Tuesday in the Mo Williams trade, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shows on his Wolves salary page (Twitter link). Minnesota created two trade exceptions in that deal, one worth Troy Daniels‘ $816,482 salary and another worth the $500K difference between the salaries for Williams and Gary Neal, Pincus tweets.
  • That means the Wolves had to take Adreian Payne into one of their existing trade exceptions to make their trade with the Hawks work, and that’s just what Minnesota did. The Wolves absorbed Payne’s $1,855,320 salary into their $4,702,500 Corey Brewer exception, leaving the $6,308,193 Kevin Love exception untouched and reducing the Brewer exception to $2,847,180, as Pincus shows on the Basketball Insiders Wolves salary page.
  • The Hawks would wind up with Minnesota’s second-round picks for both 2020 and 2021 if the lottery-protected 2017 first-rounder the Wolves gave up in the Payne trade doesn’t convey to Atlanta by 2019 at the latest, Pincus also reports on that page.

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.

Kings Rumors: Cousins, Jackson, Karl, Gay

February 10 at 3:07pm CST By Chuck Myron

DeMarcus Cousins made it clear that he didn’t want the Kings to fire former coach Michael Malone, but owner Vivek Ranadive told him that he had to do so because Malone clashed with GM Pete D’Alessandro and had missed a meeting, sources tell Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. Cousins asked the team at that point to hire Mark Jackson, but as the Kings instead decided to stick with Tyrone Corbin, team officials promised they would consult him in the future, Bucher also hears. The team now is reportedly close to a deal with Karl, and plenty seems up in the air. Here’s the latest from California’s capital city:

  • Some close to Cousins weren’t sure if Karl’s personality and the intensity of Cousins would be a match, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote Monday that Cousins’ agents. Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana, have given their approval of Karl and were merely wary of the team’s swift coaching changes.
  • Cousins wasn’t alone among Kings disenchanted with the way the team ousted Malone, Jones adds in the same piece. Rudy Gay recently said he felt “lost” on the court, according to Jones. Gay signed his extension with the Kings in large measure because, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports originally wrote, he wanted to play for former coach Michael Malone,
  • Ranadive asked D’Alessandro to meet with Karl last week, Jones also writes in his piece. It seemed Monday, before the owner gave the GM the go-ahead to hire Karl if he wished, that Ranadive was hesitating while D’Alessandro pushed for a deal, though perhaps that wasn’t the case.
  • The Kings are expected to hire Vance Walberg as an assistant coach should the team complete a deal with Karl, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group hears (Twitter link). Walberg, currently a Sixers assistant who previously worked under Karl on the Nuggets, has made his mark on offense, Haynes notes.

Kings Offer Coaching Job To George Karl?

February 9 at 4:30pm CST By Zach Links

4:35pm: Multiple players on the Kings roster oppose the would-be hiring of Karl, Jones hears (Twitter link). Karl’s social media campaigning has rubbed some the wrong way, Jones adds (on Twitter), though it’s unclear if that’s the reason why the players don’t want him to coach the team.

4:15pm: The Kings have not made an offer to Karl, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, which conflicts with Bucher’s report (below). Chances are good that the sides won’t reach agreement until after the All-Star break, the ESPN scribe adds.

2:52pm: People close to Cousins believe that the team will hire Karl soon, Voisin tweets.

2:43pm: Negotiations with Karl continue, but D’Alessandro hasn’t made his final decision yet, a source close to the team tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Corbin has been informed that he’ll stay on through the team’s final two games before the All-Star break, Spears also reports (Twitter links).

1:03pm: Ranadive and D’Alessandro are interrogating Karl about his health, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. The 63-year-old is a two-time cancer survivor, as Voisin points out.

12:47pm: The Kings have offered Karl a contract, a league source tells Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher (Twitter link).

12:39pm: Ranadive has granted D’Alessandro the power to make the hire he wants if he wishes to make a coaching change, Amick reports. Presumably, that’s further indication that a deal with Karl is forthcoming, as Amick writes, nonetheless noting that it’s unclear just when D’Alessandro would want to make a move. There were also indications Sunday that Cousins’ camp was warming to the idea of Karl as the team’s coach, Amick observes

11:28am: Some in the front office have reservations about Karl and have told Cousins about their concerns, but D’Alessandro seems prepared to forge ahead and reach an agreement with Karl, as Jones explains in a full piece.

MONDAY, 8:17am: The Kings front office has recommended that the team hire Karl, and they’re close on the terms of a deal, leaving the decision in the hands of ownership, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Tyrone Corbin met with the front office Sunday evening and remains the head coach of the Kings, Wojnarowski tweets, but it sounds as if the two games the Kings have before the All-Star break will be Corbin’s last in charge of the club, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (on Twitter).

Meanwhile, Cousins seems perturbed with the whole affair and vented to reporters after Sunday’s game, saying in part, “This city done put me through so much and I stayed loyal to it the whole time,” as James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom relays.

SUNDAY, 7:39pm: There was was a sizable gap between the two sides on salary and the length of a potential contract, but that has been narrowed, according to Amick.  D’Alessandro, meanwhile, appears willing to make the hire without the consent of Cousins’ camp.

Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com (on Twitter) hears from a source that the discussions with Cousins’ camp have largely been to smooth things over from the Mike Malone firing and show that the team respects his place as a franchise player.

5:47pm: Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro is still pushing hard to hire George Karl as the team’s next head coach, according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports (via Twitter).  As was rumored on Saturday, Karl is expected to talk with DeMarcus Cousins‘ camp later on today (Sunday).  The meeting, Amick adds, will be crucial towards Karl’s candidacy.

A potential deal between the two sides is not dead, but there’s still plenty of work to be done if a deal is going to happen, Amick tweets.  The idea that Karl must win over Cousins before getting the gig is also quite real.  When asked if he was playing a role behind-the-scenes in whether Karl would get hired, Cousins didn’t exactly issue a denial:

“I’m waiting just like you guys,” Cousins said on Saturday. “There’s gonna always be allegations, there’s always going to be he said/she said.”

Cousins’ agent Dan Fegan told Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee (on Twitter) that his client is not “blocking” a deal and if the Kings want Karl, they should “make the move. We don’t run [the] team.”   That could be exactly what the Kings are planning to do.  The Kings aren’t saying much today and neither is Karl’s camp, according to Voisin (on Twitter), and that’s usually a sign that the parties are close to making something happen, in her view.

Western Notes: Kings, Wolves, Lakers

January 3 at 10:32am CST By Eddie Scarito

The Kings have quickly become a mess of a team since former coach Mike Malone was fired, Robert Windrem of Nets Daily writes. Sacramento’s problems include DeMarcus Cousins, who was reportedly upset with the dismissal of Malone, not playing up to par, especially on the defensive end, and the players finding out about Tyrone Corbin being signed as coach for the rest of the season from the media, which didn’t sit well with them at all, Windrem notes.

Here’s what else is happening around the Western Conference:

  • The Wolves‘ 2013 draft night trade of Trey Burke for Shabazz Muhammad is beginning to pay off thanks to Muhammad’s marked improvement this season, Andy Greder of The Pioneer Press writes. We’re talking a guy that has been inserted into the starting lineup and is becoming a guy that is a major factor in what we are trying to accomplish,” president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said.
  • One of the Wolves‘ recent additions, Troy Daniels, is starting to pay dividends thanks to his deft outside touch, Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes. “He is going to have opportunities,” Saunders said. “He brings something that we lack, perimeter shooting, the ability to stretch the floor a little bit.”
  • The main reason that the Lakers hired Byron Scott as their coach this past summer was because of his relationship with Kobe Bryant, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes. Few other coaches would be have been able to get Bryant to agree to skipping practices, taking games off, and the minutes restriction that Kobe is currently under, Markazi adds.

Kings Notes: Corbin, Heslip, Cousins

December 31 2014 at 4:27pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Tyrone Corbin says the Kings have lifted the interim tag from his job title, as he told reporters from The Associated Press and other outlets today, essentially confirming an earlier report that he’s signed a new deal to be the team’s head coach for the rest of the season. However, the Kings didn’t use the term “interim” when they announced earlier this month Corbin would replace the fired Michael Malone.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • DeMarcus Cousins hasn’t looked happy since the Kings fired Malone, and the Kings have asked Corbin to coach “essentially 14 angry men,” argues Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (All five Twitter links here).
  • The deciding factor for why Brady Heslip chose to pass on signing with Banvit of Turkey was that his agent had reached out to a number of NBA GMs and had received enough positive feedback about his client to warrant remaining in the U.S., Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reports (Twitter link). The Kings and Clippers have reportedly held interest in adding the sharpshooter to their NBA rosters.
  • The Kings neglected to inform their players that Corbin would coach the team for the rest of the season, something that may not sit well with the team’s star, Cousins, DeAntae Prince of The Sporting News writes. “I didn’t know,” Cousins said. “I didn’t know officially until [Monday] night, either. That’s when a lot of us found out.”
  • If Sacramento hopes to keep Cousins for the long term, the team will have to show marked improvement, Prince adds. Contrary to some of his past statements, Cousins said that he believes that the responsibility for turning around the franchise rests with the players, not with the head coach, Prince notes. “Honestly, at the end of the day, it’s on us no matter who the head guy is on the bench,” Cousins said. “At the end of the day, we go out there and play the games. It’s time for us to stop looking for excuses, stop trying to make excuses. We’ve got to man up and play basketball. We know what we need to do on a nightly basis. We know we need to defend and we know we need to share the ball and come out and play hard. I believe with those three things that 70% of the job is done. It doesn’t matter, we’ve got to go out and do our jobs.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.