7:46 pm: In an article published Sunday evening, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical says that Vivek Ranadive‘s stance on trading DeMarcus Cousins has “softened.” Previously the owner wanted to retain Cousins as a franchise pillar and, as recently as January 26, wouldn’t even entertain the prospect of making a deal.
More recently, Wojnarowski writes, Ranadive has been influenced by off-court incidents that call to question the big man’s temperament.
5:46 pm: Wojnarowski has tweeted that Cousins and agent Jarinn Akana have met with Vlade Divac and Kings’ ownership and have been reassured that Cousins is not being traded.
As was the case with the reported Cousins talks involving the Suns a few weeks ago, it seems these discussions were initiated by another team, rather than the Kings. As we noted at the time, it’s possible that not everybody in the Kings organization is on the same page with regard to a possible Cousins deal, which is why rumors keep popping up, only to be shot down.
“There’s just so much ambiguity about how the decision-making process works [in Sacramento] and what information actually gets back to whom,” one rival executive told Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com last month.
5:33 pm: Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee pumps the brakes on trade talks, saying that he has been told Cousins is not being traded, despite teams having inquired about his availability.
5:30 pm: It seems as though Jrue Holiday is not currently part of the outgoing Pelicans package, tweets Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate, but Kushner wouldn’t be surprised if they were willing to include him if push came to shove.
5:21 pm: Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders has added that the Pelicans are allegedly offering their 2017 first-round pick, Hield and an additional first-round pick. Meanwhile, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate adds context, saying that the Pelicans have felt pressure to improve and nearly everyone but Davis is on the table.
5:12 pm: The Kings have recently discussed big man DeMarcus Cousins with the Pelicans, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The center has been the subject of speculation on and off throughout the 2016/17 season. Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders echoes the sentiment, elaborating that a possible deal could involve Buddy Hield and multiple Pelicans first-round picks.
While Wojnarowski previously wrote in a separate tweet that the Kings have been actively engaged in trade talks regarding Cousins for the last few days, the latest implication that the Pelicans are interested makes sense. Less than two weeks ago it was made public that New Orleans was seeking a center to pair alongside Anthony Davis.
If Cousins were to join the Pelicans, he and Davis would instantly make one of the league’s most dynamic pairings, a frontcourt duo unparalleled in the league today.
Just last month it appeared as though the Kings and Cousins were on track to sign a max contract this summer. That deal, it’s estimated, could be for five years at just under $210MM. If such a trade were to transpire, however, Cousins would no longer be eligible for the Designated Veteran Extension, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets.