DeMarcus Cousins Rumors

Western Notes: Rivers, Cousins, Ayon

September 6 at 12:45pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Austin Rivers believes this coming season will be his breakout year, John Reid of the Times Picayune writes. The Pelicans guard said, “I was constantly working the entire summer. I gained 10 pounds and I’ve got stronger in my upper body. This is my year. But I think at the end of the day, I think we all now understand we can only control what we can control. At the end of the day, we let all of the guys in the front office do their jobs. We just stick to what we do. We play.” Rivers has career averages of 7.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 2.2 APG. His career slash line is .390/.346/.601.

Here’s more from the west:

  • DeMarcus Cousins tells Chris Kudialis of The Sacramento Bee that he hopes Team USA experience for him and Rudy Gay will pay dividends for the Kings this coming season. “My thing is just taking in as much as I can from this experience and taking it back home,” Cousins said. “I’m being led by some of the best players in the league here, and I want to use everything I learn to make myself better.”
  • With the Warriors signing GM Bob Myers to an extension recently, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders looks back at Myers’ biggest moves since arriving in Golden State.
  • Gustavo Ayon prefers to play in the NBA next season, but the offers he has received from European teams have been more lucrative to this point, Marc Stein of reports (Twitter links). Stein believes that Ayon, whom the Spurs recently expressed interest in, will head overseas unless the offers improve. Ayon played in 26 games for the Hawks last season, averaging 4.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.1 APG.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Cousins, Durant, Blair

August 14 at 8:55pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Here are some miscellaneous news and notes to pass along this evening:

  • Earlier today, ESPN reported that Kings center DeMarcus Cousins injured his right knee during Team USA practice today. Fortunately, an MRI reveled no structural damage, and Cousins is now listed as day-to-day, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
  • USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo described Kevin Durant‘s decision to drop out of Team USA as a “contractual situation” in which “he had no choice,” notes Erik Horne of NewsOK, who doesn’t think that those comments are consistent with Durant’s official statement for withdrawing. Last week, the Thunder star mentioned an inability to fulfill his responsibilities from a “time and energy standpoint” as a reason for his departure.
  • Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski was among many who were caught off-guard by Durant’s decision to leave the national team, notes Nick Friedell of
  • DeJuan Blair is eager to build on a productive playoff series against the Spurs this past May as he suits up for the Wizards in 2014/15, writes Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. “I was very excited when I (learned I was traded from Dallas to Washington). It was like a dream come true…Last year, I saw what type of team they had. The youth, the big men coming up, the ingredients around the team. And I think I’ll be a great addition.”
  • Based on what he’s seen from Andre Drummond so far, Team USA assistant Tom Thibodeau spoke glowingly about how Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy will be an ideal coach to help the 21-year-old big man reach his potential (piece from Keith Langlois of

Western Notes: Terry, Love, Williams

July 15 at 7:55pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Jason Terry may still be under contract with the Kings for one more season, but he isn’t ruling out an eventual return to the Mavericks, as both Tim MacMahon (via Twitter) and Bryan Gutierrez of ESPN Dallas note. The former Dallas guard was a guest on 103.3 FM’s Fitzimmons and Friedo Show and expressed his desire for a reunion.

“I won’t rule out returning back to Dallas. It’s my home and my heart…I bleed blue. I’m a Maverick.”  Terry added that championships are his driving force as he finishes out his career. “I want to get back on a team that has a realistic shot to win a championship, and I think Dallas is doing those types of things. 

Here’s more out of out of the Western Conference this evening:

  • Terry also commented on the current state of the Kings and his plans for the near future. (They’re) in transition right now. For me, at this point in my career, I want championships…I wouldn’t say it’s rebuilding, but a building process…DeMarcus Cousins (is) a huge talent. (His attitude is) a little shaky. Rudy Gay (is) not a proven winner in this league but a tremendous talent and a guy you can build around…I think there will be some more conversations with my agent and the Sacramento Kings to get a better picture of where they are headed and what they’re trying to accomplish.”
  • An increasing number of executives around the league expect the Timberwolves will trade Kevin Love before the start of the season, reports Marc Stein of The Warriors and Wolves have resumed their trade talks involving Love after having hit a stalemate earlier, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Minnesota believes Golden State will eventually relent and be willing to trade Klay Thompson in a deal for Love, and that the Cavaliers will come around to including Andrew Wiggins in their offers, sources tell Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.
  • The Mavericks are still looking for another point guard and have spoken with free agent Mo Williams, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports; team president Donnie Nelson doesn’t seem too optimistic about their chances of landing him, notes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star Telegram (Twitter link).
  • Nelson later acknowledged that the team won’t have any money to make a play for Carlos Boozer (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Western Notes: Thompson, Sterling, Gay

June 19 at 9:21pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

With Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, and Andre Iguodala slated to make $10.6MM or more each next season and through 2016/17, a lucrative contract could be hard to come by for Klay Thompson in Golden State, writes Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Keeping that in mind, one source tells Wojnarowski that Thompson would be open to being traded to the Timberwolves because it would increase his chances of receiving a max contract.

Klay’s father – former NBA champion Mychal Thompson – offered his thoughts on ESPN 710 radio today, suggesting that Klay would actually be unhappy in Minnesota. “If this (Kevin Love trade) happens, I will have to talk (Klay) down from the ledge” (Twitter link via Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). 

As Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune further transcribes from Mychal’s radio appearance, Klay’s disappointment would stem from missing out on the opportunity to play alongside Love on the Warriors.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:

  • Later in his piece, Zgoda says that Bill Duffy – Klay’s Thompson’s agent – will surely push for a max deal on his client’s next contract.
  • According to Donald Sterling’s lawyer, Donald’s mental competency has now been examined by other doctors and “the results are different,” tweets Ramona Shelburne of
  • DeMarcus Cousins told Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee that he reached out to Rudy Gay about staying on board with the Kings (Twitter link). Gay has a player option for 2014/15 worth just above $19.3MM.
  • Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger said that Nick Calathes will be back with the team next season, according to a tweet from Rob Fischer of FOX Sports  (hat tip to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal). Calathes’ contract is non-guaranteed for the 2014/15 season.
  • Knicks director of player personnel Mark Warkentien and Pacers vice president of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie are drawing interest from Memphis as potential add-ons to the Grizzlies front office, hears Chris Vernon of 92.9 ESPN (Twitter link).

Ranadive On Gay, Malone, D’Alessandro, Cousins

March 28 at 4:20pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Jared Dubin of’s TrueHoop Network scored a one-on-one interview with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who shared a broad range of insight on the team he bought nearly a year ago. The technology magnate makes no bones about his enthusiasm for analytics, and told Dubin about the way extra layers of data convinced the team to trade for Rudy Gay, upon whom advanced metrics have often shed an unflattering light.

“What we did is, we looked at all six years of data, we looked at spatial data, we looked at what happened with a big guy, and what would happen if he was the second or the third option,” Ranadive said. “We concluded that his efficiency would go up dramatically, and sure enough, it’s gone up 20 percentage points.”

It’s not quite clear how Ranadive is measuring efficiency in this context, but most measures demonstrate that Gay has indeed performed better in Sacramento than he had with the Raptors. Dubin’s entire piece is worth your attention, particularly if you’re a Kings fan, but we’ll share some of the highlights here:

On hiring coach Michael Malone:

“He was the 21st century kind of coach that I wanted. The style of play — we want to be like the Spurs, but exciting. We want to create a winning franchise that is a perennial contender, and we also want a strong defense, combined with up-tempo play. Malone is a coach’s son, and there was high demand for him. I knew that I wanted him, so I made a deal with him that once I bought a team, he would be my coach.” 

On hiring GM Pete D’Alessandro:

“When I spoke to Pete, I told him, ‘I’ve got three other candidates that are finalists for this job, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get job. I will interview you, and most likely it will be for an assistant GM [position]. If you want to come out, come out, but the chances of you getting it are 1%.’ He came out, and the night before I gave him a call and said, ‘There are just five questions I have for you,’ and then he just absolutely blew me away. Blew me away. He was the kind of 21st century GM that I was looking for. Looking at that, we don’t hold the fact that you haven’t done something against you. Mark Zuckerberg was 21 when he invented Facebook. That’s just how we think.” 

On signing DeMarcus Cousins to a maximum-salary extension:

“He plays really hard. I know that he’s had issues with his temper and so on, but when I took over the franchise, the first thing I did was I texted him and I said, ‘Hey, my friend Steve Jobs likes to say ‘Let’s go to the end of the universe.’ So let’s do that in the NBA.’ And just like one of my kids, he sent me a three-word text back just saying, ‘Sounds good, boss.’ That was the start of my relationship with him and his mom. Before we gave him the contract, it was over the summertime, and I said, ‘Look, I just want one thing from you. I want you to be the first guy in and the last guy out. As long as you do that, we’re good.’ And he did. He lost a bunch of weight; he was the hardest-working guy in practice. The coaches have done a great job with him, and his numbers reflect it. He’s had amazing numbers. There’s still more work to be done, but I am very pleased with where he is.”

On his plan for changing the draft lottery, which he dubs the “V Plan.”

“There’s two parts to it. Part one is that you freeze the draft order at the time of the All-Star break. Then, everything [pertaining to the current lottery system] remains the same, but it’s frozen based on the standings at the All-Star break. Then there’s no gain in not playing at the highest level for the remainder of the season. That’s part one. Part two is that at the end of the season, the top seven teams from the Eastern Conference and the top seven teams from the Western Conference make the playoffs. Then for the eighth playoff spot, the remaining eight teams have a sudden-death, college-style playoff in a neutral venue, like Vegas in the West and Kansas or Louisville in the East.”

Deadline Rumors: Hill, Nelson, Bulls, Kaman

February 20 at 1:24pm CDT By Zach Links

The latest from around the league as we inch closer to the deadline..

  • All is quiet for the Bulls, Grizzlies, Warriors, Mavericks, and Pelicans at the moment, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • Meanwhile, the Mavericks have interest in Lakers big man Jordan Hill but the proposal is problematic because of L.A.’s desire to move both Hill and fellow big man Chris Kaman in order to get under the luxury tax, Amick writes.
  • The Kings are still shopping anyone not named DeMarcus Cousins from the Maloofs regime, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Magic and Wizards were discussing a deal involving Jameer Nelson before the Andre Miller deal was agreed upon, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Bulls, who are $678K under tax, are comfortable standing pat, a source tells Ken Berger of  They believe they can stay under the threshold even with bonuses and 10-day deals.
  • The Cavs were never in on Lakers big man Chris Kaman, despite reports to the contrary, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
  • More from Amico, who tweets that Cavs acting GM David Griffin was unwilling to give up a first-round pick and a player for Rockets big man Omer Asik.  The Cavs went out and got Spencer Hawes instead.

Kings Owner On Malone, Front Office, Cousins

February 17 at 9:47am CDT By Chuck Myron

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee that he expects the team will lose money this year, but he says he’s “not that concerned” about it. Ranadive has officially been in control of the franchise for just eight and a half months, but he’s already made a significant impact. He’s signed off on a max extension for DeMarcus Cousins, hired a new coach, overhauled the front office and kept pushing for a new arena against local opponents and a 2017 NBA-imposed deadline. The software magnate shared a range of thoughts on the team and other subjects with Voisin, and we’ll pass along a few highlights from their Q&A here:

On coach Michael Malone:

I think Michael Malone is going to be a great coach. He was thrown into a situation where there was a lot of dysfunction, and we said the first year is not going to be measured on wins and losses. Do we have a culture? Do we have a system? Are we developing our players? I believe we’re moving in the right direction.

On the philosophical differences between Malone and the front office:

Look, I know people talk about that my coach is always focusing on defense, while guys like Mullie (Chris Mullin, adviser) and Petey (D’Alessandro, general manager) are offense-oriented. And that we have offensive players. It’s no secret the game has become an offensive game, with three-point shots, layups, the rule changes. We all see it. So we have to reconcile that. And I think it’s good. If I had everyone who agreed, why would I want them?

On the team’s player personnel moves since he bought the team:

I’m very pleased with those decisions. When I bought the team, everybody told me the first thing you should do is get rid of DeMarcus, including the previous management. But I just kept an open mind, and I interacted with the young man. And what I saw was a young man who wanted to win and had experienced nothing but chaos during his time with the Kings. Throughout the season he has proven that he wants to win, and he is maturing. I can’t fault him because he wants to win so much.

On whether the notion that the current collective bargaining agreement is more small-market friendly than the one before it influenced his decision to buy the team:

It was a factor when I asked some smart money people to join me. I did explain to them we were at an important point in the evolution of the business. And, yes, in the past, most teams lost money. But with the new TV contract and all the things that were happening, this (NBA) was going to become more like the NFL.

On his accomplishments so far as Kings owner:

“Just kind of stepping back, when I took over, we started from scratch. There is no other word for it than a turnaround. We just paid $535MM for something that had no revenue, no ticket sales, an arena that is falling apart, that had chaos in the locker room, leadership that was falling apart, and so I had to just quickly stabilize everything. And kind of keeping with my philosophy of surrounding myself with people smarter than me, I think I’ve done that. (Team president) Chris Granger is one of the top guys in the NBA.”

Pacific Notes: Williams, Kings, Lakers

November 29 2013 at 7:13pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee characterizes the Kings’ move for Derrick Williams as “playing a hunch” – a hope that a new situation will help the former second-overall pick tap into his potential. With the franchise in rebuilding mode, Voisin writes that outside of DeMarcus Cousins, Ben McLemore, and Isaiah Thomas, pretty much everyone else is up for grabs on the trading block. Here’s more out of the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Mark Deeks of the Score evaluates the Williams-Luc Mbah a Moute swap for both Sacramento and Minnesota. Keeping Williams’ potential in mind, Deeks writes that the Kings took a gamble that was nearly “impossible to pass up,” whereas the Timberwolves appeared to have created a logjam at the wing with Dante Cunningham‘s minutes to account for as well as the eventual return of Chase Budinger.
  • According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni “hated” that Elias Harris had to be cut today. Both Bresnahan and Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News report that the team isn’t expected to fill in their 15th roster spot anytime soon (Twitter links).
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel says the Lakers dropped the ball in sacrificing future financial flexibility in order to reward Kobe Bryant with a generous extension. The Los Angeles Times relayed a handful of fan reactions this afternoon regarding the deal, and most didn’t seem to be enthused either.

Amico On Turner, Young, Granger, Cousins

November 10 2013 at 8:25pm CDT By Zach Links

Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio has his weekly column posted; let’s dive in and take a look at the highlights..

  • If the Sixers start to slide and they turn their focus to the offseason, they could find a trade partner in the Mavericks.  The two sides have yet to talk, but sources around the league wonder if Dallas might be interested in landing Evan Turner in an effort to make a playoff run and appease star Dirk Nowitzki.  Turner wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and a package of Shawn Marion and a draft pick would probably get the job done for the former No. 2 overall pick.
  • If the Sixers part with Turner, word around the league is that the Thunder and T-Wolves will also be among the teams with interest.
  • Sixers small forward Thaddeus Young is also off to a hot start and is likely to draw interest around the trade deadline or sooner.  Young may be a little tougher to move than Turner at $8.6MM this year and $9.1MM next with a player option for $9.7MM in 2015), however.
  • With the Pacers off to a 7-0 start, league execs wonder what Danny Granger‘s role might be when he comes back from injury.  With his expiring contract and recent injury history, it seems as if the Pacers would be receptive to moving him.  If they do dangle Granger, they’ll probably seek out some backcourt help, specifically someone adept at handling the basketball.
  • One league exec told Amico, “If the Kings aren’t any good, mark my words: They’ll trade (DeMarcus) Cousins.” Cousins is still on his rookie contract this year, but has a max extension kicking in next season, which will make it trickier to trade him due to CBA rules, albeit not impossible.

Kings Sign Cousins To Four-Year Max Extension

September 30 2013 at 11:06am CDT By Luke Adams

MONDAY, 11:06am: The Kings have officially signed Cousins to a long-term extension, the team announced today in a press release.

FRIDAY, 12:06am: The Kings and DeMarcus Cousins have reached an agreement in principle on a new long-term deal for the big man, reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. According to Jones, Cousins will sign a four-year extension with Sacramento worth the maximum salary. The new deal will keep the former fifth overall pick under contract through 2017/18.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter) pegs the total value of Cousins' new contract at about $62MM, though the exact amount won't be known until next July when the 2014/15 cap figures and maximum salaries are set. Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter) that the pact won't include an option on the fourth year, while Jones tweets that it was Cousins' preference to do four years rather than five.

By agreeing to a four-year extension with Cousins, rather than a five-year deal, the Kings will hold on to their designated player tag to potentially use on another player down the road. There are no real candidates at this point to become Sacramento's designated player, though perhaps if Ben McLemore's development goes as planned, the team will consider going to five years for him when he becomes extension-eligible.

Cousins, 23, is coming off a season in which ne nearly averaged a double-double, with 17.1 PPG and 9.9 RPG, to go along with a 20.2 PER. We had heard earlier in the week that he and the team were nearing an extension, with the potential for a deal to be finalized before camp got underway. With an agreement in place, it looks like the Kings will be in position to finalize and announce Cousins' new contract before the club plays its first preseason game.

Cousins' new contract will make him the fourth player this offseason to sign a rookie-scale extension, including the third to sign a max deal. John Wall and Paul George both agreed to five-year max extensions with their respective clubs, while Larry Sanders inked a four-year contract worth $44MM. As I noted when I examined extension-eligible players yesterday, plenty of situations are still up in the air, including Eric Bledsoe, Derrick Favors, and Gordon Hayward.