Boston has been quietly aggressive, with its well-chron…

Boston has been quietly aggressive, with its well-chronicled array of assets, in search of the splashy move we all know team president Danny Ainge would love to make. But with Sacramento thoroughly unwilling to entertain offers for DeMarcus Cousins, and Cavaliers general manager David Griffin likewise emphatically shooting down the notion earlier this week of making Kevin Love available, there isn’t a starry trade target for Ainge to chase. At least not yet.

More on DeMarcus Cousins Trade?

League sources continue to say that Kings president Vlade Divac shuts down conversations about Cousins at ‘hello,’ and that a Cousins deal is a complete non-starter in Sacramento.
Despite the blowup in San Antonio and his ejection against the Warriors last week for stalking an official while arguing a call, there's no denying that on the floor, he's been brilliant. "He's the No. 1 big guy in the league," Divac said, putting to rest any notion that Cousins will be traded. "The second one is not even close."
"I just can't stand summer talk," Karl said, sitting against a wall in the corner of the Kings' practice facility. "I mean, free agency, all the money, teams think they saved their organization by signing this guy or making this trade. You have all these obnoxious predictions and it doesn't mean anything. We got off into that trade innuendo, and I think it hurt Cuz. And I think I made a mistake in making the comment that no player is untradeable. That's something I might believe, but I shouldn't have said it. So everything kind of snowballed in the wrong way at the end of last year."
Alternatively, they could gather those assets and flip them for a star; the rumor mill has already linked them to DeMarcus Cousins, though the Bulls deny any interest in him. The Bulls probably can't compete with the trove of draft picks the Boston Celtics could offer, and they've always preferred to build through the draft and free agency, anyway. They are a patient franchise. They are not going to cash in their chips for a star on the wrong side of 30.
External interest in DeMarcus Cousins never lets up. Teams didn't wait until Dec. 15 to start chasing him, clinging to the hope that Sacramento can be coerced into moving their franchise player and starting over, but Kings general manager Vlade Divac was adamant this week when he told that Cousins is "off the table." ...
With all of that said, it's been a long time since the Heat has been as adamant in denying a report as it has been about this one: the report that it is trying to move Hassan Whiteside to get DeMarcus Cousins or Dwight Howard. But it's not like the team is angry. More like amused. Flabbergasted. That's because a lot of the logistics simply don't make any sense. Start here: Whiteside's contract is virtually worthless to another team. That doesn't mean Whiteside is worthless. His skill set is worth plenty, even in a smallball era. But he's making just $981,348 this season, and he will be a free agency as soon as the season ends. Miami cannot sign him to an extension now and, unless he's willing to take a mid-level deal (he won't be), the Heat will need to use cap space to re-sign him because it doesn't have Bird Rights on him.This is a dilemma, and it will be very tricky to keep Whiteside and Dwyane Wade and add talent this summer. But here's the thing about the Heat not having Bird Rights: Neither would any team that acquires him.
Ira Winderman: Have been told from inside the Heat absolutely nothing to speculation linking Whiteside to Dwight Howard or DeMarcus Cousins. That doesn't mean that any of this can't/won't happen. But, for moment, the reports/speculation appeared to have come as news to the Heat.
It’s not that the Celtics, who open a two-game trip to Oklahoma City and Houston today, don’t realize Cousins can really play. It’s evidently more a matter of being wary about his behavioral issues and not wanting to take the risk at Sacramento’s price. So how do the Celts know the Kings’ asking price if they haven’t had talks? Because, said one league source, they’ve seen what Sacramento has sought for Cousins elsewhere. And because the clubs obviously don’t feel there is room for discussion.
To begin, we can surmise that the first-round pick from the Nets next June is out of the question. “I can’t see Danny (Ainge) giving that thing up unless it’s for a sure thing,” said one league source. “And Cousins is so far from that. Hey, the guy could get into the right situation and become a team-first guy who just goes out and does his job every night and doesn’t cause a problem. But do you want to bet on that?”
Added a general manager from the West, “Leaving his problems out of it for a second, there’s no question the kid is good. But they’ve had him way overpriced. I don’t even want to think about what they’d want from Boston. You know what they asked the Lakers for? The No. 2 (overall) pick last draft, the one the Lakers used on DeAngelo Russell, and the Lakers’ top pick from the year before, (Julius) Randle. Do you believe that?”
However, there is one scenario, and perhaps only one scenario, where consideration of a Whiteside trade might make sense for the Heat (humor me here, if you will): Because the Heat will have to put aside salary-cap space for Whiteside, it could complicate the rest of their moves this summer. With a trade for Cousins, who already is under contract going forward, cap space wouldn't be a consideration and it could be easier to make the rest of their moves work, from Dwyane Wade to Tyler Johnson to even utilizing various exceptions, including their trade exceptions. So if you trade Whiteside and, say, Luol Deng (plus some filler), for Cousins, then there would be little to sweat next summer in free agency.
George Karl publicly wanted to trade DeMarcus Cousins, the snake in the grass episode happened, then they met, and now Karl is wearing his star player’s jersey at a charity appearance. Can we glean anything from this information? Probably not. There were fresh trade rumors as recently as this past week. We’ll just have to keep following the odd couple’s every development.
Vlade Divac: I agree...#family RT: DeMarcus Cousins: Blah blah blah...
The origin of Karl's rift with Cousins was a statement the coach made in the spring that everyone on the roster was tradable, followed by rumblings that Karl himself was shopping Cousins to other teams. "All that stuff is so out there," said Karl, who nonetheless admitted that hypothetical conversations about trading Cousins occurred "behind closed doors." "As a coach, in meetings every year and maybe four or five times a year, you talk about what-ifs," Karl said. "And 99 percent of what-ifs never happen. But isn't it our job to talk about what-ifs? Does this make us better? Does this get us in a better place? That's our job.
This is the West, where it takes 48-50 wins, while climbing over one of the playoff teams plus Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant back, up-and-coming Utah and young-and-promising Minnesota. This process will take years, not a year. You shortcut it at your peril, even if the Lakers were willing to trade their No. 2 pick for Sacramento’s even-higher-maintenance-than-Dwight-Howard DeMarcus Cousins ... and would send Russell up there tomorrow if that would do it, a league source told me.
Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac has pursued a possible deal that would include a bevvy of assets, including the Lakers' No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson and other draft assets, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Sacramento also would want to unload the remainder of forward Carl Landry's two years, $13.5 million contract, league sources said.
Cousins' agent, Dan Fegan, would like to steer his client to the Lakers, who can offer Julius Randle and this year's No. 2 pick -- though rival teams doubt the Kings would send Cousins to a division rival. The Knicks are another team on Cousins' list, but all the Knicks have to offer is the fourth pick (which, bear in mind, can't officially be dealt until the Knicks use it, since their 2016 first-rounder already has been traded).
"I think it's just a lot of crazy, crazy fibs and lies," Karl said. "You know, it's just a situation where we won 29 games last year and for us as a basketball organization, we want to get better. I mean, Cuz is our best player, we know that. We want him committed and dedicated to being in Sacramento and playing and leading us to our first playoffs in Sacramento in six, seven, eight, nine years." The question was then asked directly: "You are not interested in trading DeMarcus Cousins?" Karl evaded it. "My interest right now is commitment, trust and building a team that's excited about being in Sacramento, excited and committed to being a good basketball team and representing the city of Sacramento," he said.
George Karl calls Cousins rumors "fibs and lies". Jim Crandell of Fox40 caught up with Coach Karl at the Del Paso Country Club today with the conversation being taped by the Sacramento Bee. You can view the video here. Crandell asked some good questions, although I would have liked some stronger responses from Karl myself.
Aaron Bruski: .@CarmichaelDave reporting that DeMarcus Cousins asked for a trade one month ago. CD adds that Cousins’ camp was split on the decision.
The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in trading for Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, as ESPN's Marc Stein has reported, and are willing to give up the No. 2 pick for him, but a source close to the Kings tells ESPN's Chris Broussard that owner Vivek Ranadive will not allow coach George Karl to trade Cousins. Yahoo! Sports reported Monday night that Karl is pushing the Kings to trade Cousins.
The Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as one of the most determined trade suitors for Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN that the Lakers have been actively pursuing trade scenarios in recent weeks in attempt to construct a deal that would convince the Kings to part with Cousins.
Additionally, he scoffed at rumors suggesting he would consider trading his All-Star center. “That is not happening,” Divac said forcefully, “but I would love to do something, a smaller move, before the draft. We have a lot of changes to make. The league is much more up-tempo now, and we need more three-point shooting. If we don’t get that in the draft, we’ll be active in free agency and see about making trades later in the offseason.
Steve Kyler: Continue to be told Kings have no interest in Cousins trades, want to give situation a full season under George Karl
Vlade Divac: Well, I think he just has to be a leader, make sure that he makes everybody better on the floor. Everything else, I think he's right on target. He's just so powerful, can dominate in the low post. He can play outside. He can play sometimes four, sometimes five. He's a very smart basketball player. He has very great potential. Me: So you wouldn't entertain any offers for him at this time? VD: Well, if it's Michael Jordan there, I'll think about it. (Laughs)
Storyline: DeMarcus Cousins Trade?
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