Sources with “intimate knowledge” of the Kings insist that team owner Vivek Ranadive won’t entertain the prospect of trading DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Arnovitz writes in a lengthy and entertaining feature piece for ESPN.com. That’s something we’ve heard before, and comes as little surprise, considering the Kings and Cousins are reportedly on track for an offseason contract extension.
Arnovitz’s piece features many more fascinating tidbits about Cousins and about the Kings’ franchise though, many of which we haven’t heard before. The entire story is worth checking out, but we’ll round up a few of the highlights right here:
- Although Ranadive insists that the only major player personnel decisions he has made were the ones to trade for Rudy Gay and to not hang onto Cousins, Arnovitz writes that “not a single league source for this story outside of Sacramento said that ultimate authority resides anywhere but with Ranadive.”
- Arnovitz hears from one NBA insider that Ranadive told him “some months back” that he’d like to assemble a big three in Sacramento, with Russell Westbrook joining Cousins and Gay. It’s not clear if that declaration was made prior to Westbrook signing his extension with the Thunder, but either way, it seems extremely unlikely that the OKC star would end up with the Kings. Gay also seems likely to depart in free agency this summer, though Ranadive remains unconvinced of that, per Arnovitz.
- Members of front offices that have dealt with the Kings say that Sacramento’s front office structure is confusing to navigate, according to Arnovitz. “There’s just so much ambiguity about how the decision-making process works [in Sacramento] and what information actually gets back to whom,” said one rival executive. By way of example, Arnovitz cites one Kings source who says that during the 2015 draft, there were as many as five team owners in the draft room, including one who was trying to make a side deal for a second-round pick.
- One league source tells Arnovitz that Ranadive has an “unhealthy fixation on the Warriors,” having previously been a part of Golden State’s ownership group.
- According to Arnovitz, communication between Cousins and Kings’ executives has sometimes created problems. Sources tell Arnovitz that Cousins was assured that George Karl wouldn’t be hired as the team’s head coach in 2015. Cousins was later told in February 2016 that the team was going to fire Karl that day, but it ultimately didn’t happen until two months later.
- Be sure to check out Arnovitz’s full story for many more tidbits about Cousins and the Kings.