That said, that won’t stop the trade chatter involving Cousins who won’t hit the free agent market until 2018 unless he works out a long-term extension in advance which is something Cousins would not rule out when I asked him about his future. “I got a season and a whole other season,” Cousins said. “I focus on these guys right here; I focus on winning games; I focus on making the playoffs; that’s it.”
Consensus among several league sources I asked about the DeMarcus Cousins/Sacramento situation: The Kings would trade him before the deadline if they were smart. The logic is that Cousins is extremely unlikely to return to Sacramento once he becomes a free agent.
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."
October 6, 2022 | 10:04 am EDT Update
Michael Scotto: I spoke with four NBA executives this week about the Ime Udoka situation in Boston. Each of those four executives told HoopsHype they don’t think Udoka will return as coach of the Boston Celtics after his yearlong suspension is done. Jared Weiss: That’s the consensus. I haven’t had anyone in the organization tell me they don’t think he’s coming back. I feel like they’re moving on with that expectation and that the reason for a suspension is more about whatever legal processes are happening right now rather than they genuinely want to reassess it in the future. I’m sure there is some degree of uncertainty about whether or not they would bring him back. I don’t think it’s like he’s fired, and it’s set in stone, and that’s it. I’m sure there’s some evaluation that has to be done at some point, but it seems so unlikely that he would come back.
Jared Weiss: I haven’t heard anything indicating there would be an earlier time frame than the 2-3 months. I just saw him walking around the other day. He’s got a single crutch on the side where the knee (surgery) is. He’s basically using it as a big cane essentially to support his walking. He’s walking pretty gingerly. It’s not like he’s full on limping, but he doesn’t look like he’s putting all of his weight on his knee the way he normally would, and he’s not doing full strides like he normally would. I think he’s definitely got a ways to go before getting back out there, and I’d presume they’re going to go on the more conservative time of this time frame because he’s already come back a few different times in his career, and the results haven’t been good. They’ve got to take as much time as they can because if he goes down again for this injury, you’ve got to worry about his career at that point.
Michael Scotto: I think the absence of Robert Williams affected the way they went about filling Danilo Gallinari’s roster spot. There were some rumblings out there about Carmelo Anthony before Blake Griffin. One of the reasons the Boston Celtics targeted Griffin was the team prioritized defense. Griffin was one of the league leaders at drawing charges. With Williams being out to start the season, Griffin can play the five. Offensively, Griffin can help with DHOs (dribble handoffs). Melo would’ve been a fine stretch four and could’ve replaced that role similar to Gallinari, but that wasn’t the focus after the surgery for Williams, I’m told.
Michael Scotto: Following the recent extension for Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr, I spoke with four NBA executives, and they told HoopsHype they projected Grant Williams to be worth between $12-13 million annually in any extension talks. One executive told me, “For an extension now, he’s probably in the $12-14 million territory. I think $15 million is not out of the question, but definitely on the high end, and it means they’d think he’s going to be a starter.”
The intel that we got from multiple people within the (Lakers) organization was that as of now it’s not like they’re saving their cap space for Kyrie Irving or that you know, there’s this grand plan to land Kyrie.
Is there one guy that from your understanding is higher on (the Lakers’) wish list? From my understanding, it is Myles Turner and I think there definitely are reservations from their side on both guys (Turner and Buddy Hield).