DeMarcus Cousins Rumors

James, Curry, Harden Lead All-NBA Teams

May 21 at 10:32am CDT By Chuck Myron

LeBron James and Stephen Curry finished atop the voting for the All-NBA Teams, with James Harden, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol joining them on the first team, the league announced via press release. Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Pau Gasol and DeMarcus Cousins comprise the second team. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Tim Duncan, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving make up the third team.

Curry, the league’s MVP, and James each received 645 points through a system in which five points are awarded a first team vote, three points go for a second team vote and one point is given for a third team vote. The duo garnered 129 first team votes each, making them unanimous first team selections. They were followed closely by Harden, with 125 first team votes and 637 points, and Davis, who had 119 first team votes and 625 points. Marc Gasol, who’s heading into free agency, wasn’t as widely seen as a first-teamer by the media members who cast their ballots, rounding out the squad with 65 first-team votes and 453.

Every member of the second team received at least one first team vote, and Thompson and Irving were the only members of the third team not to get a first team vote. Al Horford also received a first team vote even though he didn’t make any of the teams. The NBA will soon display the votes of each media member on its website, but the league has already distributed the information via press release, so click here to check it out in PDF form.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Green, Clippers

May 19 at 9:37pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Kings have been searching for players who can score from the perimeter in the last few drafts but haven’t struck gold yet, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. However, Sacramento isn’t a few more made three-pointers away from being a contender, and the franchise should focus on adding a playmaker rather than a simple scorer in this year’s draft, Jones opines. “I think they’ve got to be careful,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said. “They’re in that range where they don’t want to reach and take a guy with maybe top-15 talent just because it’s a need. My suggestion to the Kings would be take the best available player and hope that guy is a shooter.

Here’s the latest out of the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors‘ forward Draymond Green admitted that his pending restricted free agency this summer caused him to press at the beginning of the season, Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders relays. “A part of that was I was coming into a contract situation. It’s normal for that to be on your mind,” Green said. “Steve [Kerr] and [Alvin] Gentry sat me down and they said listen, ‘We know the situation you’re in. We know you’re in a contract year, and you better believe we’re going to do everything we can to help you in your contract year.’ Coach Kerr said, ‘I’ve played in this league 15 years, I’ve been a GM, I understand all that stuff.’ That kind of helped me settle down. It was like, alright don’t go out there worrying about that. It’s the completely wrong thing to be worried about.
  • Their salary cap situation will make it difficult for the Clippers to make roster improvements this offseason, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register writes. Los Angeles has $58,125,748 in guaranteed salary already on the books for next season.
  • Kings president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac further stamped out DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors today, calling him “untradeable” and someone he wants to build around in an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link). Divac made it clear last month that he intends to keep Cousins in Sacramento for the long term, and the newly minted exec is reportedly in awe of the big man’s talent.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Celtics Likely To Seek DeMarcus Cousins

May 1 at 2:21pm CDT By Chuck Myron

2:21pm: The Celtics have been enamored with Cousins for years, but Ranadive almost certainly wouldn’t approve a trade that sends him out, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

8:23am: The “early word” indicates that the Celtics will try to trade for DeMarcus Cousins this summer, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Indeed, the Celtics will likely be in the hunt for just about every marquee player who might become available in the months ahead, Stein writes, echoing comments that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made Thursday. LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, Paul Millsap and Omer Asik are among the many free agents whom Boston is expected to make a run at, as A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com details. Reports conflicted about whether Boston made a run at trading for Cousins before the deadline.

A person familiar with Kings coach George Karl‘s thinking told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in February that the Kings didn’t rule out trading their All-Star center at the deadline, and Karl said last month that there were no untouchables on the roster. However, Vlade Divac, whom the Kings installed in March as the head of their basketball operations, is enamored with Cousins and wants the 24-year-old’s time in Sacramento to continue, and owner Vivek Ranadive has bristled at the assertion that Cousins is a trade candidate.

The Celtics have about $40MM in guaranteed salary for next season against a projected $67.1MM cap, but opening cap space would force the team to renounce its unmatched reserve of trade exceptions. None of them, even the one worth nearly $13MM left over from the Rajon Rondo trade, would be large enough to acquire Cousins and his max deal, though the exceptions could help the Celtics structure a larger-scale multiplayer deal involving Cousins or another star. Boston’s store of draft picks loom as significant trade assets, too, as Stein points out, and those won’t disappear if the Celtics decide to use cap space in July, unlike the trade exceptions.

The Celtics don’t have any player who’s truly off-limits for a trade either, according to Stein, though among the C’s under contract, Ainge has a particular soft spot for Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, the ESPN scribe points out. Sources told Blakely that Smart and Tyler Zeller are the least likely players to leave Boston via trade, as we noted earlier. Ainge is also high on soon-to-be free agents Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko, Stein writes, as previous reports have indicated.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Johnson, Green

April 21 at 1:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

DeAndre Jordan changed the first game of the Spurs series in a positive way for the Clippers, as Dan Woike of the Orange County Register chronicles, and his continued presence will be key in Game 2. Of course, whether Jordan is a presence for the Clips beyond this season isn’t known, since he’ll be a free agent, but it’d be tough for L.A. to let him go, since the team already has some $58MM on the books for next season and is without much cap flexibility to replace him. Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Vivek Ranadive foresees an active offseason for the Kings but can’t envision a DeMarcus Cousins trade, and the Kings owner seemed annoyed Monday that Cousins’ name has been in trade rumors of late, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee relays (Twitter links). “I don’t know why that stuff is out there,” Ranadive said.
  • Wesley Johnson suggests the constantly changing roles throughout his NBA career have led to his inconsistency, while coach Byron Scott believes part of the problem is “between the ears,” observes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. In any case, the Lakers are on the fence about re-signing Johnson, who’s started 121 games for them the last two seasons, even though he’d like to come back, as Medina details.
  • Draymond Green is proving his value once more for the Warriors in their first-round series against the Pelicans, as SB Nation’s Tom Ziller examines. The Warriors have indicated they plan to match any offer for the soon-to-be restricted free agent.

Voisin On Cousins, Ranadive, D’Alessandro

April 17 at 8:39am CDT By Chuck Myron

A few trade rumors have surrounded DeMarcus Cousins of late, and while the noise surrounding the All-Star isn’t at a high level, he’d be the league’s most prominent trade candidate, if he could indeed be considered a trade candidate. Cousins has complained publicly and privately about Sacramento’s fast-paced system, but the Kings have no plans to move him, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacrameno Bee. Vlade Divac, the Kings front office chief who’s apparently enchanted with the talent of the former fifth overall pick, wants Cousins’ tenure in Sacramento to endure, as Voisin details.

“DeMarcus is here,” Divac said forcefully, according to Voisin. “It’s a process of growing up. And I really believe that, behind that shield of his, he is a really good guy. I want to create a healthy environment where we trust each other, and I want to see him in a situation when he’s winning games. What, five losing seasons? Winning changes everything. Like I told DeMarcus, he played so great for coach George [Karl]. It will only get better when we get him more help.”

Voisin’s latest column has more insight on the seemingly ever-changing dynamics of the Kings front office and roster, and we’ll hit the highlights here:

  • Owner Vivek Ranadive has been less of a hands-on presence in recent weeks, allowing Divac and coach George Karl to perform their respective duties without undue influence, Voisin writes.
  • Divac replaced GM Pete D’Alessandro as head of the basketball operations, but the subsequent departure of former adviser Chris Mullin for the head coaching job at St. John’s has helped restore some power to D’Alessandro, according to Voisin. Some perceived Mullin, who was eminently powerful within the organization, as the team’s de facto GM, Voisin explains.
  • It’s uncertain whether D’Alessandro will remain with the Kings now that he reports to Divac, but Divac, in his comments to Voisin, seemed to make an appeal of sorts to the GM. “When I first came here,” Divac said of joining the front office in February, “I just observed everything and listened. I wasn’t sure [the front office] was going to work. But Vivek trusted me, trusted coach. I called everyone into a meeting and said, ‘If you want to be here, forget the past. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future. We need everyone’s help.’ Pete can be a big part of this. And these last two weeks, I see tremendous progress. We are getting along, functioning. Slowly we are fitting in together.”
  • Divac will prioritize the acquisition of a “lanky frontcourt defender” this summer, followed by shooting, playmakers and depth, Voisin writes.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Ellington, Lin, Cousins

April 15 at 11:04am CDT By Chuck Myron

Suns GM Ryan McDonough admits the team had no intention of reshaping its roster as much as it did this season, but while he’s disappointed with the way this year has gone, he feels the Suns are still better off than they were two years ago, when he took over, as he tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

“We’ve tried to do something that’s not easy to do,” McDonough said. “We tried to turn over the roster with talented, young players who have some potential but probably aren’t ready to win yet at the highest levels. But we also tried to stay competitive in a brutal Western Conference. Usually, teams try to do one or the other. They load up on veteran guys and trade draft picks and go all in or they completely blow up and gut the team and try to acquire and play a bunch of young guys.”

Phoenix will look to achieve more roster balance, among other goals, this summer, McDonough added. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The sense is that Wayne Ellington will largely favor the Lakers in free agency this year, but he’s mindful that the market is uncertain for both himself and the team, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter links), who’s identified mutual interest between the sides. Ellington backed up his end of that, referencing coach Byron Scott and GM Mitch Kupchak during his exit interview with the media Tuesday when he said, “I flat out told coach and Mitch I want to be back,” Medina notes.
  • Jeremy Lin seemed lukewarm to the idea of returning to the Lakers during his exit interview, saying that he has “definitely not ruled out” the possibility and that the Lakers wouldn’t be a “last resort.” He said that losing his starting job in December “hurt,” but that his respect for Scott has grown throughout the season. Medina (separate piece), Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles (Twitter link), Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding (Twitter link) and Bill Oram of the Orange County Register (Twitter link) have the details.
  • Trade rumors are partly to blame for the sour mood DeMarcus Cousins has been in of late, but Kings executive Vlade Divac, who’s in charge of the front office, is in awe of Cousins’ talent, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Voisin advises Cousins to get away from the noise now that the season is ending.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Boozer, Hawes

April 14 at 10:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Kings have a budding superstar in DeMarcus Cousins, but coach George Karl admits that no one on Sacramento’s roster would be off-limits for the right trade, as Bill Herenda of CSNBayArea.com relays. Obviously, the Kings aren’t looking to trade their best player, but Karl’s comments jibe with what a person familiar with the coach’s thinking told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in February about Sacramento’s willingness to make deals.

“I’ve had some great players and I’ve never had one player that I have said is untradeable,” Karl said, as Herenda notes. “You always got to be ready for the possibility of a great trade that could come your way. I know I respect him [Cousins] a tremendous amount … I think our give and take and our communication has been almost on a daily basis … until we can really get to a special place together, I think we’ve got to continue to communicate, what he wants and what I want.”

With the offseason beginning in two days for Sacramento, there’s more on the Kings amid the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com has begun hearing more speculation about Cousins trades among sources, but Bruski cautions that there’s nothing concrete or in the works (Twitter links).
  • Carlos Boozer moved to the bench about a month into the regular season and he hasn’t been the sort of contributor the Lakers imagined when they claimed him off amnesty waivers this summer, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Coach Byron Scott is nonetheless pleased with the way he “hasn’t rocked the boat” since his benching, Medina notes, adding that it nonetheless seems unlikely that the power forward, a free agent this summer, will return.
  • Spencer Hawes admits he isn’t having the sort of season he envisioned when he joined the Clippers on a four-year deal for the full value of the mid-level exception this past summer, observes Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times“It’s been bad,” he said of his performance. “There’s no other way to put it. You just can’t let it defeat you when you go through the low stretches.”

Pacific Rumors: Cousins, Jordan, Stoudemire

March 26 at 11:52am CDT By Chuck Myron

Two coaching changes and more losing for the Kings have thrown DeMarcus Cousins for a loop this year, but he’s determined to learn from adversity, as Michael Lee of The Washington Post details.

“It’s been a circus, man. It’s been a complete circus,” Cousins said of this season. “We got off to a hot start. Unfortunately, I got sick, so it ruined the look of the team. I take some blame for that. I know for a fact, if I wouldn’t have gotten sick, things wouldn’t have happened the way it happened. It was no way it could. At the same time, a lot of it is not my fault and we all know why. But this has been a disappointing year.”

George Karl‘s up-tempo system doesn’t really fit Cousins but the center will keep an open mind about it, Lee writes. Cousins is in the first year of a four-year max extension. Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • DeAndre Jordan said he loves the city of New York but isn’t thinking about his free agency this summer, as he told reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post, after the Clippers beat the Knicks on Wednesday.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire‘s said his interest in joining the Suns after his buyout with the Knicks was “extremely high,” according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. “But I wanted to compete for a championship this year,” Stoudemire added. “That’s one reason why I didn’t choose the Spurs, because I knew it’d be a letdown for all my Phoenix Suns fans. I couldn’t do it. It was a tough decision, but I wanted to win this year.”
  • Wesley Johnson is finds it frustrating to be hitting free agency for a third year in a row, observes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. The Lakers have a general affection for him, and Johnson has been considering a new deal with the team this summer, in spite of L.A.’s hesitance to give him more than a one-year deal the past two offseasons, as Bresnahan also relays“It’s one of those things where you definitely don’t want to jump ship when something’s going bad,” Johnson said of the Lakers. I actually want to be a part of it to see if we can get back on the right foot. We’ll see what happens this offseason, see what direction they’re going.”

Pacific Notes: Karl, Cousins, Price, McAdoo

March 16 at 5:42pm CDT By Chuck Myron

George Karl acknowledged that he and DeMarcus Cousins started their relationship under trying circumstances and that it will take a while for them to truly build camaraderie, asthe Kings coach detailed in an interview with TNT’s David Aldridge for his NBA.com Morning Tip column.

“I’ve had some really good, serious talks about him,” Karl said of Cousins. “I think it’s hard, because of the skepticism of his agent and all that. It’s a process right now. I’m not saying the trust is with capital letters yet. But I think it’s on the page. That’s all I can ask for. I hope he understands that the process is not going to work coming in the middle of the season, taking a team that was basically a possession, defensive-minded team, and turning it into a running team. I think we’re getting a good pace, but we’re not doing it that well.”

Karl arrived in Sacramento amid Cousins’ frustration with the team’s frequent coaching turnover, and a person familiar with Karl’s thinking apparently told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that the Kings are open to trading Cousins this summer. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Ronnie Price was a revelation for the Lakers this season, becoming a starter after signing a non-guaranteed deal for the minimum salary in the offseason, and he’d like to come back to the team even if he’d only be a third-stringer, as he told Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Price, who seems doubtful to play again this season because of a bone spur in his right elbow, will be a free agent this summer.
  • The Warriors have recalled James Michael McAdoo from the D-League, the team announced. The rookie scored 25 points in 29 minutes for Golden State’s affiliate Sunday the day after the Warriors sent him on assignment.
  • Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob shared his thoughts on Draymond Green, David Lee and more with Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group, as we passed along earlier today.

Pacific Notes: Kobe, Cousins, Rondo, Whiteside

March 9 at 1:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak insists the team won’t make building a team to win in the short-term around Kobe Bryant a priority at the expense of the future, and Bryant is on board with that, as the Lakers star told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

“It’s a balance of both,” Bryant said. “You always want to set the franchise up for the long term. Mitch and I are on the same page. What he said in the interview is not something that we haven’t talked about before. It’s nothing different. You don’t want to compromise the future of the franchise for one season. You try to balance that.”

There’s more on the Lakers amid the latest from around the Pacific Division:

  • Teams around the league are making plans to try to trade for DeMarcus Cousins in case he and George Karl don’t get along, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com said on ESPN radio Sunday and as ESPN colleague Marc Stein notes within his weekly power rankings. Cousins and Karl have nonetheless been complimentary of one another since the Kings put them together last month. Still, a source familiar with Karl’s thinking recently told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that Sacramento wouldn’t rule out trading Cousins.
  • Lakers co-owner executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss is believed to be among those who like Rajon Rondo, as Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding writes as he argues that the Lakers and other teams shouldn’t pay a premium for the point guard.
  • The Lakers chose to sign Wayne Ellington instead of Hassan Whiteside after the big man auditioned for the team this past summer, Whiteside said to TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr has learned how better to navigate leadership boundaries since Mike D’Antoni‘s belief that Kerr wanted his job helped prompt D’Antoni to leave the Suns during Kerr’s tenure as GM in Phoenix, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.