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.