THURSDAY, 3:12pm: The Kings’ internal dismay with Karl is coming far more from top exec Vlade Divac than Ranadive, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Meanwhile, all signs currently point to them holding on to the No. 6 pick (link).
1:06pm: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is frustrated with the Cousins/Karl rift because when he was hired, the coach said he would not be involved in personnel, sources tell Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (on Twitter).
TUESDAY, 2:34pm: Divac, sounding irritated, repeated again that he won’t trade Cousins and denied that Karl is making any push for such a deal, as Divac said to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).
7:30am: George Karl has an intense desire for the Kings to trade DeMarcus Cousins, and he and some members of the team’s front office have expressed to executives and coaches from other teams that they hope to have owner Vivek Ranadive’s blessing to trade the All-Star soon, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Ranadive and vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac have nonetheless been adamant about not trading Cousins, and Karl has been trying to recruit Divac and other Kings players to make a push to convince Ranadive to change his mind, according to Wojnarowski.
Cousins is aware of Karl’s push to trade him, and people around the Kings and Cousins increasingly believe that the relationship between the coach and the team’s star is beyond repair. Cousins tweeted emojis depicting a snake in the grass after Wojnarowski’s story emerged late Monday night.
Karl’s insistence that he can’t get along with Cousins has irritated Ranadive, Wojnarowski writes. Ranadive reiterated his long-held stance that he won’t trade Cousins in an interview Monday with USA Today’s Sam Amick.
“We have zero interest in moving Cousins, so I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Ranadive said in reference to the rumor that the Lakers are pursuing Cousins. “But if you like, you should talk to Vlade, because I know Vlade feels exactly the same way. And I’m deferring to Vlade on everything. We have no interest in moving him. From my perspective, it’s really simple: we feel that he’s a one-of-a-kind player, and we have a group of players right now and we’re going to build on it.”
Kings higher-ups believe it’ll be tough to find value for Cousins and believe they have a better chance to find the right trade for Rudy Gay, according to Wojnarowski. Sacramento is pursuing trades for Gay and the rest of its roster, Wojnarowski hears. The Lakers are reportedly pushing for Cousins and have had exploratory talks with the Kings, but Sacramento would rather take back veterans than the No. 2 overall pick, the Yahoo! scribe writes.
Cousins has privately feared that Karl wanted him out, and Karl’s remark in April that he’s never had one player who would be untradeable didn’t exactly assuage those concerns, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Cousins, who is a Relativity Sports client, and his representatives have been told he won’t be traded, and Cousins likes Sacramento, Jones also tweets. Amick hears a somewhat different story, that Cousins’s camp is clearly in favor of the center becoming a Laker. Cousins has asked not to be traded, according to Jones, so it would seem there are conflicting messages surrounding the talented 24-year-old big man.