Sacramento Kings Rumors
That’s why for the second straight summer, Casspi, along with the NBPA Foundation for the first time, hosted a special cultural tour in Israel earlier this month to bring pro athletes and celebrities with him to his country. “It was incredible really the fact that we had the players’ association involved this year, and we were doing stuff in my home city and Jerusalem, renovating basketball courts,” Casspi told the NBPA. “That means a lot to me. I worked super hard on this trip, and this is something I’m really grateful for.”
Casspi was joined by NBA players Chris Copeland, Rudy Gay, Shawn Marion, Donald Sloan, Beno Udrih and Amar’e Stoudemire, who recently signed a two-year deal to play in Jerusalem. Joining them on the trip were WNBA players Mistie Bass and Alysha Clark, UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, actor Jeremy Piven and pro poker player Maria Ho.
In the process, there is a cloud of drama and the seemingly inevitability hanging over the franchise’s head. Many people around the NBA expect Cousins to leave Sacramento when he becomes a free agent in 2018. “They’re fooling themselves if they think he’s sticking around,” said one league executive. “The good news for them is his value will always be high. There isn’t a point of no return in which you’re not getting high value for him. Teams will bid against each other in the trade market. Maybe [Cousins] doesn’t go for the biggest money in free agency but you’d love to have that card to play.”
Since the backcourt has played together for four years, there’s a tendency to asume that they’re best friends. But they don’t spend much time together outside of Verizon Center and they have had to be separated on more than one occassion after blowups. Last season, Alan Anderson made peace after preseason game when Beal was upset. Two seasons ago it was Garrett Temple, Beal’s best friend on the team who now is with the Sacramento Kings, to restrain him. Both veterans are gone after free agency this summer.
Incoming calls from other teams have been dismissed. There seems to be zero desire to even talk about a Cousins trade from the Kings’ side. Unless things are just brutally bad out of the gate, the Kings likely play out the first season under Coach Joerger and make decisions from there once they know more. There is no doubt that Cousins’ looming free agency in 2018 will become a factor; it’s just not one right now.