Sacramento Kings Must Bite The Bullet, Trade DeMarcus Cousins


At least the Sacramento Kings lead the NBA in one category – team dysfunction. If there is a more dysfunctional team in the league at the present moment, we don’t know what it is. One need not look any further than the hiring of Vlade Divac as the VP of Basketball and Franchise Operations as proof – reportedly, nobody knew that he’d been hired and actually had a powerful position within the organization until media reports a few days later.

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And now, we come to the situation with DeMarcus Cousins.

Given the fact that conflicting reports have emerged out of Sacramento – some say George Karl trying to initiate a trade for the All Star while Divac and the front office insist that isn’t the case – it’s understandable that Cousins might be more than a little miffed.

And given his recent Tweet – in which he really seems to be subtweeting Karl – it seems clear that the relationship between player and coach has deteriorated to the point that is becoming toxic to the team. When you have a player, such as Cousins, posting Tweets like this…

… which given the history the phrase “snake in the grass” and how it’s been applied to Karl by some of his former players like Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala, you can pretty well assume that the relationship is dead, and that the bridges between them have been reduced to nothing more than ash at this point.

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  • It’s a relationship that is so dysfunctional – within a franchise that is so dysfunctional – that it is likely one that can never be repaired. Especially given the strong personalities of the two men.

    If the relationship between coach and player is so bad – and said player doesn’t play particularly well when in a – heightened emotional state – it’s negativity and tension that could potentially infect the locker room as a whole. Which could make for a very long, very dramatic, very soap opera-esque season in Sacramento.

    So what then, are the Kings to do?

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    The Kings should do the only thing they can do at this point – as painful as it is, suck it up and trade Cousins. Given that Karl is only a few months into a four year deal, he’s not going anywhere. And given Cousins’ already bruised ego and hard feelings toward Karl and the organization as a whole at this point, it is the only move they have to make.

    However, in making that move, the Kings find themselves with some real options. A number of teams are very interested in acquiring Cousins’ services as he is a player who can help put a team that’s on the verge over the top.

    And in the case of Sacramento, dealing Cousins could provide the Kings several building blocks the team can truly build around.

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    Sacramento Kings /

    Sacramento Kings

    From that perspective, the Los Angeles Lakers might be the team in the best position to help the Kings make the lemonade out of the lemons the organization has picked for themselves. The Lakers are very hot to acquire Cousins and given that fact, Sacramento could absolutely demand – excuse the terrible pun – a Kings’ ransom for him.

    In the upcoming draft, the Lakers hold the second overall pick. After that, they have 27th , 34th pick, and a young player in Julius Randle. There is no way of knowing at this point just how much LA would be willing to give up to pry Cousins out of Sacramento, but given the team’s struggles, as well as their infatuation with Cousins, one would have to think it would be a pretty penny.

    The Sacramento Kings are at something of a crossroads for their organization. They can continue on the path they are currently on, which is to force Karl and Cousins to co-exist – which would not end well for anybody and would only add to the drama and dysfunction of the franchise. Alternately, they could trade for, as some have suggested, some of Karl’s former players in Denver – specifically, Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, and Wilson Chandler – the results of which, will likely be mixed and a non-playoff season.

    But the road that seems to make the most sense for all involved would be dealing with the Lakers straight up – or with a third team in the mix if they needed them to get there. With multiple picks in the upcoming draft, Sacramento could get rid of a very, very talented, but very, very volatile player in Cousins, and lay a solid foundation to build toward the future with.

    The situation in Sacramento between Karl and Cousins is quickly becoming untenable. It’s a situation that, if allowed to drag on too long, is going to spill over into the rest of the team and wreak havoc upon the franchise. And that’s about the last thing the Kings need at this point.

    It’s not the preferred thing to do, but at this point, trading Cousins is the smart thing to do. That’s about as close as they’ll come to making lemonade out of the lemons they picked for themselves.

    Next: Free Agents Kings Should Set Sights On