10:26PM: Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets that the new ownership has no intention of trading Cousins, also mentioning that the center is supposed to meet with Ranadive soon.
10:16PM: On the cusp of Michael Malone's agreement with the Kings, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio tweets that a source in tune with Sacramento's head coaching decision suggests that the move was made with the presumption that DeMarcus Cousins "is a goner." In an earlier piece by Sam Amick of USA Today, it was noted that former Kings head coach Keith Smart had forged a close relationship with the young center during his first season in Sacramento. Amico (via Twitter) isn't quite sure he completely believes his source and thinks the Kings will give things a chance to work, though one may wonder if the 6'11 center's future in Sacramento could be tied to how well he gets along with Malone.
Despite admitting to some growing pains during the second season, Smart spoke candidly about how he envisioned playing a role in Cousins' development, saying that a third year could have been a prime opportunity to make things work even better:
"We put a lot of pressure on a 22-year-old to carry the franchise right now, and he's probably not there yet…But that's why I just thought all the work that you had to go through to get to a certain point and understanding how to manage a player, now you go into that third year, that next stage and (you're in a good place)."
"I understand him and he understands me now. And that's where you grow…You get a chance to develop that relationship. You had to push, you had to fight, you had to argue. But you come back, and you're able to trust each other."
With Malone now leading the bench, it will be interesting to see if or how long team brass will give him a chance to work with Cousins. The picture could be much clearer on this front once a general manager is put in place, though the speculation about how their relationship could develop is intriguing nonetheless.