October 28, 2016 | 2:14 pm EDT Update
Can’t promise you that the Kings will actually trade Cousins. If you insist on squeezing a firm prediction out of us on this one, as we speak on Oct. 28, I’d have to say he’ll stay.
Sacramento is determined to make the playoffs this season, or at least a credible playoff run, which somewhat compels the Kings to keep their best player. But the reality is that Cousins has only one season left on his current contract after this one. If the Kings keep him beyond Feb. 23, they better be sure they can re-sign him, because they’re sure to fetch less in return for Expiring Contract Boogie.
The Blazers have an aggressive front office and more wings (Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner, Moe Harkless) and bigs (Mason Plumlee, Meyers Leonard and Festus Ezeli) than they need. So keep an eye on them. The suspicion among numerous league observers is that the Blazers’ non-stop spending this past offseason was asset collection as much as anything. Scan through all those names again and it’s clear Portland has no shortage of options to thrust itself into all kinds of trade talks as GM Neil Olshey continues to shape the roster around backcourt bedrocks Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Bogut believed the Mavs were the better fit for him, saying he wanted to go to a team where he might be able to stay long term as he entered his contract year. “I’m not saying Houston has a bad culture by any means, but my agent has a familiarity here,” said Bogut, whose agent, David Bauman, represented Peja Stojakovic, among others. “I’ve known a lot of players that have been pretty happy here when they were here. Richard Jefferson was one of them. And then the city — I like the city, so it all made sense. Rick Carlisle is also one of the best coaches in the league. He knows how to get the best out of his players. He’s very, very smart and makes great adjustments. He’s a guy you want to play for. Obviously, [Mark] D’Antoni is a pretty good coach, too, but probably not suited for my style of play. I would have probably had to drop about 20 pounds to play in his system. They play a tough system, get up and down the court.”
Bogut said on media day that he would have forced a buyout if the Warriors would have traded him to a team he did not approve. He clarified Friday that he was not referring to the Rockets. “That was a different team, not Houston,” Bogut said, acknowledging that the Philadelphia 76ers were the other team that engaged the Warriors in serious trade talks. “I’m not saying I would have forced a buyout. It would have been an option.”
“It was important to play with the spirit of a tough minded team,” said Gibson. “Rondo is a tough minded guy; he loves his teammates. The whole night he was just chattering away, telling us what to do. You see when the scuffle happened he was the first one in there. It’s great to have guys like that having your back. The good teams know how to find a way to win games. That comes from having guys like D. Wade, Rondo, guys who have actually won before and are not afraid to take those shots. All during the game all I heard was Rondo’s voice constantly motivating guys, constantly telling guys where to go; even when D. Wade hit that big shot, Rondo was in there saying, ‘Stop celebrating, let’s get ready for the next play.’ Those are the things that help teams.”