NBA Trade Rumors: Five Best Trade Destinations for DeMarcus Cousins
The following story was written by Bottom Line sports writer Kevin Parrish Jr., and originally appeared on the website Fadeaway World .
DeMarcus Cousins is an All-Star who is arguably the best center in basketball today. Cousins is coming off 26.8 points and 11.5 rebounds from last season. He has the complete package, and he is only 26 years old. However, there’s a problem: he plays for the most dysfunctional franchise in the NBA today–the Sacramento Kings.
This franchise has gone from coach to coach, it’s had questionable draft picks, and has an owner who seems indecisive about every decision the organization makes. Cousins will never reach his full potential until he gets to another team. I can see him forcing his way out of Sacramento very soon, so I present to you five possible destinations for Cousins to get away from this out-of-sync franchise.
John Wall is regarded as one of the most elite point guards in the NBA, and Cousins is pretty much regarded as the best center. Cousins was a member of 2014 Olympic team that won the gold medal in Spain.
Cousins is a very good friend of John Wall, and they played together in college for Coach Calipari during the 2009-2010 season at the University of Kentucky. With the addition of Cousins, the Wizards would fill its need for a low post player with youth.
This pairing would challenge the defending NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the best team in the Eastern Conference. Don’t forget the young sharpshooter Bradley Beal, who is only 23 years old and has a ton of potential. Beal signed for five years and $127 million in free agency contract.
Cousins is a clear upgrade over starting center Marcin Gortat, who averaged a respectable 13.5 points and 9.9 rebounds last season. This is not a bad average, but he is 32 years of age, and is not an impact player likes Cousins.
Washington could trade Bradley Beal for Cousins. There have been reports of tension between Wall and Beal on the court last season, and the rift between the two has been made public. Sacramento needs help at every position. A trade to the Kings would make Beal the number one option; Washington could trade for his services now. At the present, Cousins has two years left in his four-year, $65 million contract.
The Wizards hired coach Scott Brooks, with a respectable 338-207 record as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s head coach for seven seasons. Brooks was able to develop the games of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, so why couldn’t he do the same for Cousins and Wall?
The Cleveland Cavaliers already have a championship roster, but they can still have room to improve. Although Cleveland has four-time MVP and 2 two-time champion LeBron James and the young up-and-coming offensive superstar Kyrie Irving, the team is still missing a piece. Kevin Love has had issues fitting into the system during his two seasons in Cleveland because he can’t create his own shot; he struggles to find his niche within the team.
Sometimes Love is a three-point shooter, and sometimes he is a low-post player. He is a great player, and the Kings could only improve if Love joined the team. He averaged 16.9 points and 9.9 rebounds last season, but he does not fit with Kyrie Irving and Lebron James.
Since Love is paid more than Cousins, the Kings would have to send more players over to the Cavs with players such as Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore. On the other hand, the Cavs would have to send their first-round picks from 2020 and 2030 to the Kings.
The addition of Cousins gives the Cavs a shot blocker and somebody to anchor defense. Also, with LeBron’s leadership and experience, LeBron would be able to max-out Cousins’ potential.
Kevin Love is a rebounding machine and has All-Star caliber talent on the offensive end, but he struggles severely on the defense end, and that causes issues for Cleveland. If the Cavs could pull off a Cousins-Love trade, they could potentially run a dynasty in Cleveland. Keep in mind that Cousins is already regarded as the best big man in the league. If you add him with the best player in the game, LeBron James, and superstar Kyrie Irving, the rest of the NBA is in trouble.
The Chicago Bulls are officially in re-tooling mode. After trading the former franchise player Derrick Rose, and letting center Joakim Noah walk during free agency, the Bulls have some holes to fill. The Bulls made some moves during free agency with the additions of All-Star guard Dwayne Wade and point guard Rajon Rondo, who averaged 11.9 assists, which led the league last season.
With Jimmy Butler still on the roster, Chicago has a potential superstar, but they still need more to become a real contender in the Eastern Conference. People have also said that Cousins is impressed with the Bulls roster and loves the city of Chicago, and don’t forget the Rondo and Cousins were teammates last year in Sacramento.
For Chicago to pull off a trade they would probably have to trade Bobbie Portis, Doug Mcdermott, Nikola Mirotic, and first-round draft pick Denzel Valentine for Cousins. Chicago has the necessary cap room to pull off a trade for Cousins. The addition of Cousins would turn the Bulls into a top-three spot in the Eastern Conference. If Chicago wants to make noise, they need to pull off a trade as soon as possible.
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard and Cousins together would be one of the deadliest duos in the Western Conference. They both are coming off 25 points per-game seasons. Portland has a great head coach in Terry Scotts, who guided a young team with no playoff experience to a 44-38 record, securing the fifth seed for last year’s playoffs.
Portland could offer a nice trade package of C.J. McCollum, Mason Plumlee, and a 2017 first-round pick. The team should think twice about dealing McCollum because the kid showed serious potential in the backcourt with Lillard. They also already gave McCollum a new contract of four years and $106 million this offseason, so they probably would not deal him anyway.
Last year, the Trail Blazers were carried by the impressive guard play. They lack a low-post scorer, and Cousins averaged 27.4 points last year, so he would immediately solve the Trail Blazers issue in that post.
The trio of Damian, Cousins, and McCollum sounds very intriguing. Neither team is under its cap, so both teams would have to add a large amount of salary to make this trade possible.
With the Cousins move, Portland could challenge the power teams in the Western Conference, including the Spurs, the Clippers, the Thunder, and even the Warriors.
The thing that’s crazy is that Lillard and Cousins are both overlooked as stars in their respected conference. The idea of Lillard and Cousins playing together should be exciting enough for Portland to want to make a deal to aquire the All-Star center.
Eric Bledsoe played with Cousins at the University of Kentucky. Bledsoe is a good, well-rounded player when he stays healthy. He averaged a respected 20.4 points, and 6.1 assists last season.
Phoenix just hired Coach Earl Watson, who is labeled as a “players type” coach. The Suns have good draft picks like Devin Booker, who will most likely be the franchise player in a couple of years.
For the Suns to make a deal, they would have to offer up Alex Len, and players T.J Warren and Brandon Knight. Also, the Suns might have to throw in a draft pick to sweeten the deal.
At this time, the Suns need a prime talent on their team, and that player is Cousins.
If Phoenix could acquire him, Booker, Bledsoe, and Tyson Chandler, the Suns could potentially be a top three or four seed (or higher) in the powerful Western Conference.
Cousins could grow into the leader of a real championship contender. People may not think that Phoenix is a right place for Cousins, but if you think about the draft picks and trade assets, combined with the potential of some of the younger players, it could work out for the Suns.