DeMarcus Cousins

Pacific Notes: Clark, Chandler, Cousins, Walton

Ian Clark has shot well during camp and shown improving skill as a point guard, as well as the ability to defend multiple positions, all of which bodes well for his chances to stick with the Warriors on his non-guaranteed deal, as Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle examines. He’s also lingering after the end of most practices so he can play one-on-one with Stephen Curry, Simmons notes.

“He’s played well,” Curry said. “He’s not just a shooter. He’s shown that he can put the ball on the floor and make plays. He’s been around a couple of different teams and our summer-league program. I think he understands how we play, and he’s fitting right in. It’s fun to watch those five or six guys fighting for a roster spot, but Ian has definitely shown that he’s confident, and he’s making the most of an opportunity right now.”

Golden State has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts and James Michael McAdoo on a partially guaranteed deal, as our roster count shows, leaving Clark among six likely fighting for a single regular season spot. See more from the Warriors amid the latest on the Pacific Division:

  • The free agent signing of Tyson Chandler has displaced Alex Len from the Suns starting lineup, but the 2013 No. 5 overall pick sees it as an opportunity to learn from an experienced mentor, writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Suns senior adviser Lon Babby also arranged for Len to work with Tim Duncan for a few days this summer, Coro notes. “I learn something new every day,” Len said. “Like I talk to Tyson and he tells me something and I can apply it in the game right away. Like positioning and little things he helps with. I feel the game has slowed down a little bit from last year to this year. Now, when I dive and catch the ball, I see other guys more and read the game better.” 
  • Luke Walton‘s career trajectory has seen him go from a first-time assistant, to winning an NBA title, and now to Warriors interim head coach in the span of 14 months, Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.
  • Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is pleased with the team’s veteran offseason additions, who all fit with Sacramento’s intent to try to contend this season, writes Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. “You’ve got guys who know how to play the game, guys that know the game,” Cousins said. “Coming out and building chemistry is even easier. Trying to do that with younger guys? They’re trying to figure out their game and learn how to play.

Pacific Notes: Karl, Cousins, Bass, Russell, Clarkson

Weeks before reports surfaced that coach George Karl was trying to trade DeMarcus Cousins and, subsequently, that the Kings were thinking about firing Karl, the coach remarked that he never felt he had a player who was off-limits for a trade. That comment was a mistake, Karl admitted to Kayte Christensen of CSN Bay Area (video link), and the coach apologized to Cousins, as CSN Bay Area’s James Ham notes.

But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl said to Christensen, in part. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote [that] we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

Time will tell if the relationship between Karl and Cousins will remain on solid footing, but winning would probably go a long way toward keeping both of them satisfied, as Akis Yerocostas of SB Nation’s Sactown Royalty recently suggested in a recent installment of our Top Bloggers series. See more from the Pacific Division:

  • Metta World Peace is with the Lakers during the preseason in large part to mentor Julius Randle, but if World Peace doesn’t stick for the regular season on his non-guaranteed deal, fellow offseason signee Brandon Bass will still be there for Randle, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times details. Fostering the development of the 2014 No. 7 overall pick part of the reason why Bass, too, is on the Lakers roster this season, Pincus writes.
  • Bass is also a fan of Lakers coach Byron Scott, for whom he also played at the beginning of his career with New Orleans, Pincus notes in the same piece. “Coach Scott was someone who inspired me to continue to work hard, to be the player I am today,” Bass said. “My first two years I didn’t play much, so he was very motivating to me, letting me know how hard I have to work to be a pro.”
  • D’Angelo Russell was skeptical when Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told him before the draft that the Lakers thought he and Jordan Clarkson could co-exist in the backcourt, but all parties seem on board with the idea now, notes Baxter Holmes of“We’re two totally different players,” Clarkson said. “He’s an excellent passer and I’m real aggressive and it just kind of comes together.” Clarkson is set to hit restricted free agency at season’s end.
  • The Clippers are so far struggling to incorporate the nine newcomers to the team, observes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Bryant, Warriors

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and coach George Karl called their relationship “solid” during the team’s annual media day on Monday, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports. While Karl reportedly wanted to trade Cousins after he took over as the head coach late last season, they seem to have ironed out their differences, Jones continues. Cousins called Karl “my man” and said their offseason meeting in Las Vegas was vital to establishing a relationship. “When we met in Vegas, we came to a head and we talked our differences out like men,”€ Cousins said to Jones. “And at the end of the day, it’s about winning games. That’€™s one thing me and him can agree on –€“ we want to win and that’™s our goal and that’s all that really matters, winning.”€ Karl gave Cousins an A-plus for his offseason training and said Cousins has shown maturity, Jones adds. “€œI see a different player,”€ Karl said. “€œI see a different substance of character in this guy right now.”

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Kobe Bryant feels more uncertainty about this season than any other in his career with the Lakers, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Bryant is unsure how the team will blend together after the franchise made a number of offseason moves and drafted D’Angelo Russell as their point guard, Medina continues. “It’€™s a big question mark,” Bryant said during the team’s media day. “We have a lot of young guys. It’s a good mix. We have some veterans as well. But guys have never played together before, so it remains to be seen.” Bryant is also unsure how he fits into that mix after enduring three season-ending injuries in as many seasons, Medina adds.
  • Small forward Harrison Barnes claims that extension talks with the Warriors are “going well,” Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Barnes reportedly turned down a four-year, $64MM offer but expressed confidence during the team’s media day that a contract can be finalized before the Nov. 2nd deadline, Simmons continues. GM Bob Myers said last week that he expects the negotiations to go down to the wire, Simmons adds.
  • Veteran power forward Nikoloz Tskitishvili, who is in training camp with the Clippers, feels he’s ready for the NBA again after playing in six countries over a nine-year span since leaving the United States, according to Rowan Kavner of “I’m just enjoying what I do,” he said to Kavner. “With this mentality, I got better. All of a sudden, I was like, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ I think I’m ready for it.”

Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/17/15

The DeMarcus Cousins saga has been a constant source of news, rumors and innuendo throughout the offseason. The mercurial Kings center is certainly one of the most talented players in the league and, at 25, is just entering the prime years of his career. He’s also locked up contractually through the 2017/18 season.

That hasn’t slowed down the rumor mill that the Kings will deal Cousins well before his contract expires. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck fueled the fire today by saying that most of the people within the organization want the franchise to trade him away (video link), prompting Cousins, president of basketball operations Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive to suggest on Twitter Monday that the report was nonsense. Beck added in his video report that coach George Karl would still like to see the team deal Cousins, even though Karl has said otherwise.

Cousins recently met with Karl and later said that they were on the same page. That meeting came after a brief encounter between Cousins and the coach at summer league that was reportedly their first interaction for a period of months. Cousins had tweeted snake and grass emojis shortly after a report surfaced indicating that Karl had actively attempted to have him traded.

Karl’s reported desire to get rid of Cousins upset Ranadive to the point that he considered firing the coach, and a conflicting narrative exists about whether the Kings reached out to John Calipari as a potential replacement.

The Lakers were reportedly in talks to acquire Cousins around draft time. And while Cousins’ personality may rub some people the wrong way, there would undoubtedly be strong interest around the league in his services if the Kings decided to shop him.

Therefore, our question of the day is this: Do you believe DeMarcus Cousins will remain with the Kings throughout the upcoming season? If not, when do you think he will be traded?

Take to the comments section below to sound off with your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.

Note: Since these Shootarounds are meant to be guided by you the reader, we certainly welcome your input on the topics we present. If there is something you’d like to see pop up here for a discussion, shoot us a message at

Most Within Kings Want DeMarcus Cousins Traded?

5:44pm: Cousins, Divac and Ranadive all took to Twitter in an apparent effort to debunk the latest rumors, with Cousins posting “Blah blah blah…” and Divac chiming in with “I agree…#family.” Ranadive followed with the hashtag #WeAreFamily (hat tip to Marc Stein of

2:04pm: The vast majority of the people in the Kings organization would prefer to see the team trade DeMarcus Cousins, as Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck says he’s been told (video link). Owner Vivek Ranadive has said publicly since the spring that he has no desire to trade the All-Star center, and while Beck believes that the owner is steadfast against a move, it appears others in the team’s power structure feel differently. Beck adds that coach George Karl would still like to see the team move on from Cousins, even though Karl has said otherwise.

It’s the latest twist in an ongoing saga involving the Kings and Cousins that comes on the heels of weeks of apparent peacemaking. Cousins said last week that he and Karl were on the same page after a meeting that they’d had along with vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac and assistant GM Mike Bratz. That meeting came after a brief encounter between Cousins and the coach at summer league that was reportedly their first interaction for a period of months. Cousins notoriously tweeted snake and grass emojis shortly after a report surfaced indicating that Karl had actively attempted to have him traded. A person familiar with Karl’s thinking told Beck all the way back in February that the Kings weren’t ruling out trading Cousins at the deadline this past February, and Karl advanced that notion in April when he said that he’d never coached a player who was off-limits for a trade.

Karl’s apparent efforts to trade Cousins reportedly upset Ranadive to the point that he considered firing the coach, and a conflicting narrative exists about whether the Kings reached out to John Calipari as a potential replacement. Indeed, the line of Cousins rumors has been rife with denials and nuance, dating back to concerns over Cousins’ reaction to the pair of coaching changes that Sacramento made this past season. His contract still has three full seasons left, valued at an average of nearly $16.958MM a year, so it doesn’t present an urgency to make a deal.

The Lakers emerged as a strong suitor for Cousins around draft time. The Dan Fegan client reportedly wanted to play with them, and Ranadive apparently gave Fegan permission to see if he could find a workable trade that would take Cousins out of Sacramento. However, no deal materialized as Divac, who has echoed Ranadive in saying publicly many times that he wants to keep Cousins, sought a reconciliation between Cousins and Karl. It had seemed, before today’s news, that the coach and his star player had patched up their relationship, but apparently that effort still has a ways to go.

What do you think of the latest development in the DeMarcus Cousins saga? Leave a comment to tell us.

Western Notes: Cousins, Karl, Davis, Williams

Rumors about turmoil between DeMarcus Cousins and Kings coach George Karl were overblown, Cousins insisted Tuesday, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee observes. The snake and grass emojis that the All-Star tweeted earlier this summer, shortly after the report that Karl wanted to trade him, seemed to indicate otherwise, but it appears their relationship has improved since then.

“There were some things that had to be ironed out,” Cousins said, “but at the same time, I wouldn’t make it as big as it was made out to be. Me and him [Karl] are on the same page, working on our relationship, and getting better every day. That’s all that matters. Things are a lot better. We’re trying to understand each other better. We’re going to make things happen, positive things happen.”

See more from the Western Conference:

  • Former Pelicans coach Monty Williams still won’t express dismay over his firing earlier in the offseason, even though it separated him from Anthony Davis, the New Orleans star with whom he shares an uncanny bond, writes Jimmy Smith of The Times Picayune. Williams, now a Thunder assistant, still talks with Davis but insists that he’s careful to leave most of the tutelage to new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, Smith notes. Still, Williams makes it clear that he’ll always be friends with Davis, according to Smith.
  • The Clippers roster is built to win in the playoffs more so than any other among Western Conference teams, according to metrics that Bradford Doolittle of put together for an Insider-only piece. That’s thanks to the addition of depth to the team’s star core, Doolittle writes. The Lance Stephenson trade and the signings of Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and others bolstered the strong but thin existing group.
  • Warriors GM Bob Myers may be the reigning Executive of the Year, but Spurs GM R.C. Buford, who won the award in 2014, is still the league’s top front office boss, opines Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders. That’s not surprising given San Antonio’s free agent haul, which includes LaMarcus Aldridge and a minimum-salary deal for David West.

Kings Notes: Thompson, Cousins, Arena

Jason Thompson says he was “in shock” a week ago when the Sixers, the team he grew up watching in nearby New Jersey, traded him to the Warriors before he ever played a game in a Philly uniform, as the power forward tells Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group. Thompson, whom the Kings had traded to the Sixers earlier in July, added that he’s glad to join a championship team after playing for seven coaches in seven years, none of whom guided the Kings to the playoffs. Still, Thompson, who’s kept a house in Sacramento, isn’t without his sentiments for the only NBA team he’s ever suited up for.

“I built a lot of relationships there with the fans, and they were real loyal to a guy coming out of New Jersey and they welcomed me with open arms,” Thompson said to Steward. “There are a lot of memories. I wish they were better memories with wins and stuff, but I’m sure, going to play in Sac twice, there are going to be a lot of emotions.”

Thompson is under contract for two more seasons, though his 2016/17 salary is partially guaranteed. See more from California’s capital:

  • DeMarcus Cousins, coach George Karl, vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac and assistant GM Mike Bratz “talked openly about everything” during a meeting in Las Vegas this week, Divac said on The Grant Napear Show on CBS Sports 1140 in Sacramento, notes Jason Wise of Discord marked the Kings earlier this summer, when Karl reportedly pushed for the team to trade Cousins.
  • Three Sacramento residents have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit against the city government’s funding of a new Kings arena, enabling the city to start paying its share toward construction, which is already in progress, reports Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. A judge gave the city a favorable ruling two weeks ago, and the challenge didn’t appear to pose a serious threat to the arena project.

Kings Notes: Cousins, Karl, Divac, Turkoglu

The Kings have had an active offseason, striking deals with nine free agents and swinging a pair of trades that helped clear cap space. They signed another free agent, Luc Mbah a Moute, but voided his contract after a failed physical, a move that’s reportedly poised to draw a grievance from the players union. All of it pales in comparison to the tempest surrounding DeMarcus Cousins this summer, and we have more on that amid the latest from Sacramento:

  • Cousins is no stranger to communicating visually, as witnessed by the snake and grass emojis he posted via Twitter amid reports that George Karl wanted to trade him. The center seemingly conveyed different feelings Tuesday via Instagram, posting a photo that depicts him standing arm-in-arm with Karl and Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac. Karl and Cousins apparently didn’t have any interaction for months before a brief meeting at summer league, when USA Today’s Sam Amick reported the existence of plans for a more extensive meeting. It would appear, by the looks of the photo, that the meeting has taken place, but a simple photo hardly means the tension that reportedly had Cousins wanting out has disappeared, writes Matt Moore of
  • Hedo Turkoglu isn’t thinking about playing overseas for now and would prefer to remain in the NBA, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The Kings have emerged as a possibility for the Jim Tanner client, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported last week, citing the presence of Divac, a former teammate and friend.
  • The Kings brought in noteworthy talent via free agency and Ben McLemore has the potential to take a leap forward, but the mix remains combustible, tempering all the reasons for optimism in Sacramento, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller opines.
  • What’s your take on the Kings offseason? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Pacific Notes: Hibbert, Crawford, Cousins, Evans

Lakers trade acquisition Roy Hibbert is excited to play for coach Byron Scott, and while he cautioned that he has nothing against Pacers coach Frank Vogel, the center made it clear as he spoke with TNT’s David Aldridge that his preference this summer was to end up on a team with a former player as coach. Hibbert also expressed his unwavering sentiment for Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird, even though Bird strongly signaled to the media this spring that he was ready to move on from the former All-Star.
Larry was very up front with me,” Hibbert said. “He said before the press conference that I can’t promise you minutes next year, and they wanted to go in a different direction. So it wasn’t like what happened came out of nowhere, what he said. I’ll always say that Larry changed my life. I was on the phone with my agent in the office during the [2009] draft process and Larry said ‘If Roy’s there at 17, we’ll take him.’ That meant a lot to me. I know that things change and the NBA is ‘What have you done for me lately?,’ but I could never say a bad thing about Larry or the Pacers organization.”
We had more on Hibbert’s old team earlier today, and now here’s the latest on his new team’s division rivals:

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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