The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and with it comes all of the normal slew of rumors and trade talks swirling around the league. Among the most widely discussed rumors is the possibility of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins being on the move from the Sacramento Kings.
While the team hasn’t officially mentioned anything even remotely related to shopping Cousins, his history of locker room problems and open disdain for the new head coach has had plenty of GM’s, including the Celtics Danny Ainge, making calls to the Kings front office.
It would not be an easy task to pry Boogie from the Kings, considering he is not only one of the best players and centers in the league, he is also only 24-years-old and locked up at a bargain of a price through the 2017-18 season. With that said, Sam Smith of NBA.com claims that the Boston Celtics are one of the teams willing to make a deal to bring in Cousins.
Cousins is a spitting image of exactly the type of player that the Celtics need to become contenders again. They need a powerful center who can guard the rim, gobble up the boards, and consistently put up 15-20 points per game. Enter DeMarcus Cousins, averaging 23.8 points per game and 12.5 rebounds in the Western conference.
If Cousins came to the Celtics, he would immediately be within the top 3 best players in the Eastern conference. Not that Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is the end-all be-all statistic, but it is pretty telling, and Cousins has the 9th best rating in the entire NBA (out of players who have played more than 5 games) with a 24.2.
As for centers, he ranks only behind Hassan Whiteside who has played just 25 games and under 500 minutes. Unless Whiteside can find a way to maintain the ridiculous level of play he has displayed since he began starting in Miami, that makes Cousins the best center in the league, statistically.
Clearly Cousins is an extremely special player, therefore, the Celtics would have to give up quite a bit to bring him here. The only person who would be really surprising to see go would be Marcus Smart, and even he would be expendable if it meant bringing Boogie to Boston. Other than that, Celtics fans could expect to see one, or even both, of Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger go to Sacramento in the deal.
Evan Turner might be a worthy addition to the trade if you are the Kings, considering he is currently proving himself to be a pretty efficient player in Boston. James Young would be another asset, considering he is just a rookie in Boston who is shaping up to be quite an impressive shooting wing.
No combination of Celtics would be enough to tempt the Kings, however, without including probably at least three first round draft picks. The Brooklyn picks are looking to be the most valuable since the Nets have almost nothing going for them at the moment. Therefore, expect to part with at least one of the two Brooklyn first-rounders if this deal were to happen.
The value of the Celtics 2015 first round pick depends on how the rest of the season goes. It could lose some of its value if the Celtics make it as the seven or eight seed in the playoffs. Despite this, the pick is still quite valuable, so Boston can probably wave goodbye to this too in any kind of a deal for Cousins. Lastly, the Clippers unprotected first round pick is likely to fall somewhere in the mid-10’s to early 20’s, another asset for Sacramento.
In conclusion, if the Celtics were serious about hauling in DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings, it would likely cost them something like Jared Sullinger, James Young, Boston 2015 first-rounder, Clippers 2015 unprotected first-rounder, and Brooklyn 2016 unprotected first-rounder. Many will argue that this is too much to pay for one player, but Boogie is the type of player that comes around once in a lifetime, and he is only 24-years old. He is playing in a broken system in Sacramento, and he could work wonders with Brad Stevens.
Will the Sacramento Kings be willing to part with DeMarcus Cousins before the trade deadline, or even during the offseason? Short of a complete falling out with new head coach George Karl, it’s extremely unlikely. Cousins is the NBA’s best young center, second only to Anthony Davis, and he is the face of the franchise. C’s fans can keep their fingers crossed though, considering Cousin’s was reportedly not happy about the possibility of Karl as his new coach.
Would the Boston Celtics be wise to pester the front office in Sacramento, watch for any signs of Cousins seeking a trade, and give up absolutely anything (excluding Marcus Smart) to bring Boogie here? You bet.
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