Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Paul George and S…

Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Paul George and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins are three players who on paper at least, would meet that criteria. Multiple league sources this weekend confirmed that each of their respective teams isn’t making a push to trade them. But like every team in the league, they will certainly listen to any and all offers. Only Indiana and Sacramento have come out publicly to say they are not planning to trade their players, with the Pacers indicating they’re willing to give up their first-round pick in order to add a stable, proven talent to the mix in order to help George going forward.

More on DeMarcus Cousins Trade?

Like the Kings, Cousins is a work in progress as he learns to be a leader, coexist with referees and reach his potential as a player and teammate. And he wants to do all of that in Sacramento. “For one, everyone knows I’m all about loyalty – I’m loyal to this,” Cousins, 26, recently told The Bee. “I was brought here, I believe in myself, I believe in my abilities. I’m committed to this team, this city – it’s been noted, and I don’t want it no other way. I want to be with one team my entire career; I want to finish my career here in Sacramento. That’s what it is.”
Bleacher Report: Orlando Magic reportedly turned down a trade for DeMarcus Cousins earlier this season @verizon. Ric Bucher: "Multiple league sources said the Magic turned down the chance to deal Nikola Vucevic and either Evan Fournier or draft picks to the Kings".
Bucher: "Hennigan apparently was concerned about both his ability to re-sign Cousins this summer and building the franchise around yet another high maintenence big man.
"Cousins, meanwhile, has made it clear that he wants to stay in Sacramento but one league source says owner Vivek Ranadive, a staunch Boogie supporter, is still uncertain about handing him a max $200 million extension. "The Magic are aggressively looking to revamp their roster any way they can. Boogie just won't be part of the remodel."
Many executives also believe that Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé wouldn’t sign off on a Cousins trade since he thinks very highly of the center and believes he can keep the big man in Sacramento for years to come. Because of his antics and public criticism of Sacramento’s front office, Cousins is often brought up in trade rumors, but everyone involved says he will be in a Kings jersey on Feb. 24.
Amid recent reports that the Kings had engaged the Phoenix Suns in talks involving Cousins, as well as suggestions that some in the organization were advocating a trade, Divac insisted by phone that any such speculation was untrue. "We're not trading DeMarcus," Divac told ESPN. "We hope he's here for a long time."
Sources told ESPN that Divac recently met face to face with Cousins and his representatives to make it clear that the 26-year-old is not being made available to interested teams and encouraged them to ignore any media speculation leading up to the trade deadline.
ESPN reported in early January that the Kings already have begun planning to offer Cousins one of the league's new maximum Designated Player contract extensions -- estimated to be in the $219 million range over five seasons -- once the league's new collective bargaining agreement takes effect in July. Asked on Monday about those intentions by ESPN, Divac said: "We are going in that direction."
And they have to stay on message. Within the past two weeks, three different team executives complained the Kings once again were sending mixed signals. Divac was receptive to moving Cousins, while Ranadive was still meddling and still leaning toward keeping Boogie.
Earlier this season, Cousins – among the NBA’s best post players – said he’s had conversations with Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe about one day playing together. Cousins and Bledsoe were college teammates at Kentucky. “I can’t comment on specific players,” McDonough said. “What I will say, generally, is that we have conversations with every other team in the league about every elite player in the league. Our interest level, obviously, differs on those players. … This time of year I think some of the rumors get a little bit out of control. Some of them, there is a shred of truth to them. Some of them, there’s no truth to them. And obviously, from the team side, it’s not great when your own players are mentioned in a deal either individually or in a package, but that’s part of the business.”
Gambadoro reports the discussions have centered around involving small forward T.J. Warren, center Alex Len, Phoenix’s first-round pick this year and possibly more. The Suns own all of their future picks and also own two future Miami Heat first-round picks from the Goran Dragic deal.
Gambadoro said Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker would not be in the deal. Bledsoe and Cousins were teammates at the University of Kentucky.
For the Sacramento front office, taking inventory of basketball assets naturally starts with the All-Star center, who is under contract through the 2017-18 season. When asked to characterize the Kings' plan -- be it keeping the roster intact to make a run for the postseason, blowing up the roster with the exception of Cousins, blowing up the roster starting with Cousins -- Divac and assistant GM Ken Catanella demur at anything definitive. "We're in the information-gathering stage," Catanella says. "Right now it's about getting the machine up and working." Still, sources with intimate knowledge of the Kings say Ranadive won't entertain the prospect of dealing Cousins.
DeMarcus Cousins is about to get paid. A published report over the weekend had the Sacramento Kings preparing a mega extension offer to the 26-year-old big. CSN California has confirmed through a league source that the two sides have tossed around numbers and that barring a late change in direction by either side, Cousins intends to sign a massive, max-money extension, estimated at roughly $207 million during the offseason that will keep the big man in a Kings uniform long-term.
Albert Nahmad: A Cousins designed player extension wouldn’t need to be for the full 5/$219M. 1st-year salary could be between 30%-35% of the salary cap. A Cousins designed player extension could pay up to 5$/219M. Kings could otherwise pay 5/$188M, other team just 4/$139M, in summer 2018. If Cousins signs designed player extension, he’d be under contract thru 2022-23, as soon-to-be 33-year-old coming off potential $50M salary. Cousins is eligible to sign designed player extension this summer even if he doesn’t make All NBA this season, b/c made it past two seasons. Cousins would be locking in his massive 5-year extension this summer that kicks 2018-19, essentially removing all risk for him next season.
But sources also say that the Kings, at season's end, want to pitch Cousins on a long-term partnership in the summertime, knowing he's going to be eligible in July for a Designated Player Extension that ‎could make him one of a handful of $200 million players league wide.
A trade for Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins or the disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel could help the team, but sources say they are not on Portland's radar.
Because right now Orlando is … what exactly? The Magic have some nice young pieces in Gordon, Fournier and Elfrid Payton but lack any discernible star power. Gordon is playing out of position while Payton was relegated to the bench last month — and has put up better numbers since. The clock continues to tick toward Ibaka’s free agency this summer and the staggering salary Orlando will have to pay to keep him. Again, all indications are Cousins is going nowhere. But if the Kings get serious about looking for a trade partner, Orlando has a lot of pieces that would fit.
Steve Kyler: I will be the first to say - Cousins with Popovich might be great, Spurs not doing that. Cousins with Cavs, that is not happening.…
Sean Cunningham: Karl Book: 6. Kings talked to Lakers re: trading Cousins 7. Ranadive talks to John Calipari a lot 8. Ranadive committed to star player
The Lakers would be selling low, anyway. Their young guys might be considered more unproven than intriguing, though opinions about them among rival front offices are all over the place. Some executives would trade Ingram and Russell for Cousins today. Others consider that lunacy.
Many around the NBA have gone off the record saying they wouldn’t trade for DeMarcus Cousins despite his enormous talent. Charles Barkley flat out said it on the record during an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I wouldn’t trade for him because you would have to give up a lot to get him,” Barkley said. “And I think it’s too late in his career for him to change and I think he gonna get you fired.”
I was talking to an NBA general manager earlier this season about DeMarcus Cousins, the best player in the NBA most likely to be traded, or at least so we’ll hear for the next few months. Actually, I had asked the executive who was the most talented player in the NBA. He believed it was DeMarcus Cousins. I asked whom on his team he would trade for Cousins, who is much rumored the last few years to be traded for the constant under-performing of the Sacramento Kings. He said he wouldn’t trade his 15th man for Cousins, that he wouldn’t let him in his locker room, that no one in the NBA today could likely more destroy a team than Cousins. But he said he really loved his talent.
And as far as Cousins is concerned, the Celtics’ connection with him has been more fantasy that for real, according to a team source who indicated they have not had any talks at any time with the Kings about acquiring Cousins. That coincides with reports that the Kings have not made it known to other teams that they are interested in trading Cousins, even as all involved understand that moving him is becoming more and more inevitable.
Kings ownership is unwilling to give away arguably the top center in the game for what amounts to a handful of young guys and the promise of future draft picks that amount to a handful of magic beans. Sure, the Kings could land someone new in the draft, but they are invested in Cousins and believe the best scenario for them is to build around him, even if there is risk somewhere down the road. As one source close to the situation said recently, “If you know the return is bad, why make the deal?” And the Kings know the return is bad.
Adam Kaufman: Not reporting trade betw #Celtics/#Kings imminent or will even happen...but heard something regarding Cousins, C's that caught my attention. Basically, there are some other teams around #NBA that believe there's traction on Boogie deal...but not a #Celtics or #Kings source. FWIW.
Sources with knowledge of Sacramento’s thinking say the Kings believe it’s still on the too-soon side to seriously entertain the idea of parting with Cousins, even with the clock ticking toward the final season of Cousins’ four-year max extension from 2013 and his unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018.
Interested teams out there, of course, continue to contend that Sacramento will be staring at the unavoidable prospect of yet another sub-40-win season come February. The Kings will then ultimately feel compelled, along the lines of such thinking, to submit to the suggestion that it’s wisest to part with Cousins before he enters his contract year, since keeping him beyond February could theoretically make it even tougher on them to get something resembling equal value for the polarizing big man.
Officially, the Kings’ position is simple: not interested. Sacramento opened a sparkling, $550 million arena this season and ownership — specifically controlling owner Vivek Ranadive — is hell-bent on ending it with a trip to the playoffs. And despite a circus-like atmosphere in recent years, Cousins has never demanded a trade, either. As one former teammate told The Vertical, “It’s a mess there, but he sees it as his mess.” “I’m a king,” Cousins said. “I’m good.”
Trading Cousins though is complicated; few players at his level are more polarizing. An example: Asked recently about Cousins, a high-ranking executive from a Western Conference team that had kicked the tires on acquiring him was adamant. He didn’t want him. “Everything about that guy is wrong,” the exec told The Vertical. “I don’t want that attitude around my young players.” Alternatively, an assistant coach from the same team was equally strong in his opinion that he would welcome Cousins onto the roster. “That situation out there would screw anybody up,” the coach said. “I’m telling you, get him out of that mess and you will see a different person — and a great [expletive] player.”
As a committed member of the Kings with a stated love for Sacramento, DeMarcus understandably has no desire to talk at length about the prospect of some day playing for the Mavericks _ and in the same organization as his brother. But when I asked DeMarcus if he believes Jaleel is in a good situation, his answer sounded like good news for fans who like the idea of the Mavericks acquiring DeMarcus. "Absolutely," DeMarcus said. "It's the Mavericks. It's one of the best franchises in the league. Cuban's a great guy. Rick's a great guy. He's under some good people. I'm confident in the franchise and I'm confident in his abilities, as well. I think it's a good situation for him."
Chris Broussard: The last time I talked to people about (DeMarcus Cousins), which was last week, what I was being told is that the Kings want to keep him into the trade deadline or close to the trade deadline and see where they are as a team. If they are competing and in the playoff hunt, what I'm told is they would like to keep him.
When told about there being many folks in New England who wouldn’t mind if he played for the Celtics, Cousins responded, “I heard.” Because he has heard the trade rumors involving him for so many years, he doesn’t give them too much thought. “It is what it is,” said Cousins who added that he’s never talked to his representatives or the team’s front office about a potential trade in which his name was brought up. He added, “Most of the rumors come from people who want me on their team. It (trade rumors) doesn’t bother me.”
However, he does find one positive about the steady stream of trade rumors: It serves as a reminder of just how coveted the 6-foot-11 big man is around the league. “I do appreciate that,” said Cousins who quickly added, “but like I said, I’m a King. I’m good.”
DeMarcus Cousins trade speculation won’t die as long as the Kings struggle, and they’re 6-9 – on pace for their seventh losing season in his seven-year career. But that doesn’t mean Sacramento will actually deal the star center. Jackie MacMullan on CSN Northeast: I asked about Cousins just recently again, and Vivek Ranadive, the owner of the Sacramento Kings, does not want to trade DeMarcus Cousins. And so as long as that’s the case, all this talk is just that. It’s talk.
Samtripoli: @CarmichaelDave don't you think It's better to move him when you want to then when you have to! Dave Carmichael: Bro, 19 of these articles come out the same time every year. Like NBA herpes. I'm telling you, ain't true
Zach Lowe: I've had a couple of guys from other teams tell me they're hearing the Kings are starting to get sick of Cousins. Whatever that means. I mean no one knows who's making the decisions from the ownership level, not who's making the decisions, but there's just so many voices among ownership. They have a million minority owners. Vlade [Divac] and Ken Catanella.
Marc Stein: At this point all signs are that they still want to stick with 'Boogie' but around the League I think other teams, their feeling is 'they are going to move him by February.'
After some talk about Isaiah Thomas' relationship with Cousins, a former teammate, Lowe concluded: "Right now I would lean Danny Ainge is a maybe, the Celtics overall are a no."
thoughts on the Cousins rumours and if you think the Celtics have the assets to acquire him? Steve Kyler: Its talk about this point. Kings not remotely ready to trade him.
“I’d say they have three months, tops,” one Western Conference general manager told Sporting News, requesting anonymity because he is not allowed to speak about other teams' players. “Probably more like a month, or month-and-a-half, because the closer they get to the (February trade) deadline, the less they’re going to get back. If you’re trying to trade him the week of the deadline, it’s going to be tougher.”
There have been two issues that have kept the Kings from actually moving Cousins, another NBA executive said. “You have one owner in Sacramento who does not want to give him up,” an Eastern Conference GM told SN. “And you have 29 other owners who don’t want to overpay because they are scared the guy is going to be a headache and is going to hurt the organization.”
The executive cited the Kings’ history of cycling through coaches as an example. The Kings are on their fifth non-interim coach in the last seven years, and while Cousins can’t be blamed entirely for that shoddy record, he certainly was at the heart of the dismissals of Paul Westphal, Karl and, to a lesser extent, Smart. “Owners are thinking about how much they’ve got to pay the coaches DeMarcus might get fired,” the East GM said.
On Thursday night's "Inside the NBA," NBA Hall of Famer and Kings minority owner Shaquille O'Neal described Kings center DeMarcus Cousins as a "hot head" and said he lacked leadership. "In the previous years, he's been hot-headed, he hasn't shown great leadership qualities," O'Neal said. Furthermore, O'Neal said that the team may actually look to trade Cousins if the situation doesn't improve. "I'm hearing talk that if things don't start to become correct, then they may be looking in another direction."
Tim MacMahon: 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, and the Kings can maximize his trade value when he still has another full season remaining on his contract.
But Ainge has the necessary assets to make an even bolder move, for Cousins, one that would undoubtedly get LeBron James’ attention in the Eastern Conference. And, he’s got something else going for him when weighing whether he should roll the dice on Cousins. He has the perfect player to keep him in line: Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics' All-Star point guard and former Cousins teammate. "If he came to Boston, that would be good, really good," Thomas told Sporting News last week, walking near the Barclays Center court in Brooklyn after the Celtics’ preseason win over the Nets. "The thing is, I’ve got his respect. I’ve always had that."
Q: On the basketball front, what's your perspective and strategy when it comes to DeMarcus. He obviously has this season and next on his deal, and a lot of people wonder if you guys would consider trading him this season. Vivek Ranadive: “Well again, I leave it up to (general manager) Vlade (Divac). What I see is a young guy who wants to win, and has actually matured. And I'm just repeating what I hear Vlade saying, so it's better to ask him this question, but I think what Vlade really wants to see is - and the way he says it with his Serb accent - is hugs (laughs). Hugs. He wants to see hugs, and he wants to see growth as a teammate. I know that Vlade and coach (first-year coach Dave Joerger, formerly of the Memphis Grizzlies) will make the right decisions, and I don't know. Right now what I see is I'm excited for what we have.”
Q: That night, though, did you sense pretty quickly that there was some serious tension in the room? Vivek Ranadive: You know, look, George had tried to trade Cousins that whole summer, and there was not a lot of love between those two, and so there was tension there. So that was not a new thing.”
Brian Windhorst on if DeMarcus Cousins will finish the season with the Sacramento Kings: I think so... Things do tend to happen fast in the NBA... I don't think the Kings have ever been seriously close to trading him.
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."
Roberto Coppola: Any truth to the DeMarcus Cousins for Kevin Love rumors? Ahat about Russell Westbrook to the Cavs? - Steve Kyler: Not likely for either - was told Cavs inquired about DeMarcus Cousins, but it dd not go anywhere.
Butler is likely off the table due to their recent signings of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, and the Bucks would be without a shooter if they dealt Middleton. However, Okafor, Noel, and Cousins could still be available, and both the Sixers and Kings are in need of a point guard, which the Celtics have a surplus of. Cousins has long attracted the Celtics, and perhaps the Kings would be more willing to move him, especially considering their immense depth and youth at the big man position.
By then, Karl had contributed mightily to his own demise. Instead of establishing new rules and breaking the five-year pattern of enabling Cousins, he internalized the continual disrespect and turned the other cheek until that fateful night near the end of the 2014-15 season. “I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz,” Karl said, “and some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradeable. I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded.”
Under contract for the next two seasons and in the prime of his career, Cousins’ value remains high. However, if the Kings want to move the All-Star, this summer would be the time to do so. Waiting until next year or even during the season would lead to diminishing assets in return. Teams were scared off by the expiring contracts of Al Horford and Dwight Howard this past trade deadline. The Kings would be wise to avoid the same fate.
ABC analyst Jalen Rose was asked whether the Kings, who need to win soon to create support for a new arena, can build around Cousins. “You can’t deal him,” said Rose. “He’s been an All-Star player, one of the top bigs in the game. You have to build around him, and they initially seemed to look to build through the draft. “Well, Isaiah Thomas, last pick, second round, went to Phoenix, became an All-Star. Ben McLemore, the least-efficient starting shooting guard in the NBA. Nick Stauskas, he’s now with Philly. So, if you look back at some of the players they could have taken . . . Willie Cauley-Stein, they took him in this year’s lottery.
Jason Jones: One message Kings are sending to coaching candidates is front office will support new coach in disciplining players, including DeMarcus Cousins. Kings still fighting the notion Cousins runs the franchise. Funny because he runs it when the coach he liked got fired. Also funny that DeMarcus Cousins runs the team when the coach he didn't want was still hired, too.
Jason Jones: Kings want everyone to know George Karl was not fired for DeMarcus Cousins, new coach will not be hired for DeMarcus Cousins. Karl's relationship with Cousins aside, Kings saw plenty of reasons to part ways with Karl after the season.
Karl has plenty of company. The disconnect between Karl and Divac, and Karl and Cousins, is rivaled closely by the discord within the fragmented locker room. Apart from Rondo, Cousins has few friends among his teammates. Several players privately have complained to management about his mood swings and disrespect for those around him, including his coaches and in particular Karl.
Despite the ups and downs in the Cousins-Kings relationship, and even considering the pressure to win now that comes with the scheduled opening of a new arena in October, an internal hope remains that this partnership can be fixed with yet another coaching change this summer (for the record, it would be Cousins’ sixth in seven seasons).
With Karl still expected to be replaced after the season, there is a belief that Cousins won’t be available unless the situation doesn’t significantly improve leading up to the Feb. 2017 trade deadline. He’ll have a long line of suitors then, too. After all, this is a talent-driven league and Cousins – headaches be damned – is a supremely talented player.
David Aldridge: I'm sure Sacramento will look seriously at moving Cousins this summer. But unless and until the Kings' owner gets serious about winning, and stops parading his friends through the locker room, and changing front office people at the drop of a hat, nothing is going to change there. And that is much more relevant to the team's future than the occasional Boogie Blast. Vlade Divac is going to have to do some hard thinking about what kind of team he can put around Cousins to get the most out of him. It can be done, but it's not going to be easy, and it's probably not going to involve more than one or two of the guys that are currently on the roster -- and certainly not the current coach.
League sources said that the Kings have made it clear All-Star forward DeMarcus Cousins is not on the market. The Nuggets have also indicated that forward Danilo Gallinari is not on the block, and he has had a history of knee issues and is not seen as a transcendent star anyway.
Storyline: DeMarcus Cousins Trade?
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March 20, 2023 | 11:02 am EDT Update

Both Lakers and Austin Reaves interested in re-signing

Austin Reaves’ surge is setting him up for a fascinating offseason. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will undoubtedly have multiple suitors looking to pry him from the Lakers — especially after stat lines like Sunday’s. Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they coud speak freely. The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.
The coming weeks will ultimately determine how the situation plays out. The Lakers have 10 regular-season games remaining, and possibly some postseason games as well. In the meantime, Reaves is thriving as his role expands and his confidence grows down the stretch of this season. “It’s special,” Reaves said of playing for the Lakers. “I mean, I grew up a Lakers fan. To do it for this organization, especially, is surreal. Sometimes I gotta stop and really think about what I am doing. … All I’m really happy about is the win.”
NBA Communications: Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers can become the third team from the Eastern Conference to clinch a spot in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The 76ers host the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. ET on the NBA App. Clinch scenario ⬇️

March 20, 2023 | 7:00 am EDT Update