Kings owner Vivek Ranadive gave agent Dan Fegan permission to try to engineer trade proposals that would send DeMarcus Cousins to the Lakers once Fegan made it clear that Cousins, his client, wanted out, but Kings front office chief Vlade Divac is instead trying to see if the Kings can carry on with both Cousins and coach George Karl, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. “I’ll be honest with you, how I think right now, I think [Cousins and Karl] got the message yesterday,” Divac said on KHTK 1140 Friday (audio link), as Amick relays. “So here I am, and if you’re on board, [you’re] more than welcome. If you’re not, I’ve got to go. I can’t wait. We do have everything except time. We have to go forward and try to make it a healthy environment and try to have a good team for next year. Look, we’re going to have ups and downs in the next couple months. And you’re going to hate me, you’re going to love me, but believe me I’m going to do the best I can to make this thing work. With me, with DeMarcus, with George, or without me, without DeMarcus, without George, I don’t know. But we’ll make it work.”
In other news around the Pacific Division:
- The Lakers made the right move by selecting D’Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com opines. Russell’s ability to score and distribute made more sense than a pairing of Okafor with last year’s lottery pick, Julius Randle, which would have clogged up the middle with two low-post isolation players, Howard-Cooper continues. There are also questions about Okafor’s conditioning, which isn’t an issue with Russell, Howard-Cooper adds.
- Suns coach Jeff Hornacek has added Jason Fraser to his staff as a player development coach focusing on the team’s big men, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports. The Suns have also added Earl Watson and Nate Bjorkgren as player development coaches since the end of the season, Coro adds.
- The Suns were pleasantly surprised that Devin Booker dropped to their pick at No. 13 overall, Coro writes in a Q&A with Hornacek. Phoenix expected the Hornets to draft him at No. 9 and tried to trade up but Charlotte instead chose Frank Kaminsky and Booker fell into its lap. “We really thought Devin Booker was going to go nine at Charlotte. That was the big talk,” Hornacek said. “You’re always looking to get up to get a guy you want. Nothing like that happened and, as it went on, we said, ‘We might get him anyway.’ So it worked out well.”