Pacific Notes: Cousins, Lakers, Clippers, Griffin

DeMarcus Cousins enjoyed another big game on Monday night, going head-to-head with star rookie Joel Embiid and leading his Kings to a victory, the team’s fourth win in a row. Multiple reports this season have indicated that Sacramento has little interest in moving Cousins, and the team’s recent run of success – along with a new CBA that gives the Kings a leg up to re-sign him – has likely only solidified that stance.

The Kings’ apparent desire to hang on to Cousins could be for the best, since it may be tricky to find a trade partner. As Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders points out (via Twitter), even teams that believe the big man would benefit from a change of scenery and culture are reluctant to pursue him themselves.

According to Kyler (via Twitter), he spoke to teams that said they’d want to sit down with Cousins and “understand his goals” before acquiring him, which could only happen in free agency — not in a trade. That’s probably fine with the Kings, who have moved into playoff position in the Western Conference.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Cap expert Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report takes a closer look at how the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will affect the Lakers. As Pincus notes, the lack of an amnesty clause this time around means that the team will have no easy out down the road if the four-year contracts for Luol Deng or Timofey Mozgov become cumbersome.
  • Recent injuries to Chris Paul and J.J. Redick have sidelined the Clippers‘ starting backcourt at a time when the team is already without Blake Griffin. Still, even as the injuries pile up, head coach Doc Rivers prefers to look on the bright side, as Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times writes. “I always say, there’s something good in this,” Rivers said. “We’ll find something out. I don’t know what it is, but I always think you find a diamond in any of this stuff when it happens.”
  • In a piece identifying three noteworthy players who could get traded before the deadline, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer makes a case for why it might make sense for the Clippers to move Griffin — and why it might be too late to get fair value.

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