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…#.” Ranadive followed with the hashtag # (hat tip to Marc Stein of ESPN.com).
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.