Zach Lowe on a podcast with Bill Simmons: “There’s no market for DeMarcus Cousins outside Dallas and then you have to go into sign-and-trade world. The Lakers are obviously out there too. People react like, ‘No, Cousins is a star, ever team will be willing to pay him the max.’ OK, who? He’s a big man coming off an Achilles tear and half the teams [with cap room] don’t want to spend their cap room because they’re bad.’
January 21, 2019 | 7:12 am EST Update
Thompson stands to make $18.5 million next season. That’s a big number to take on, even if it’s only for one year, because of the 2019 free-agent sweepstakes so many teams want to have salary-cap space for. Unless Thompson puts a team over the top, then it would probably make more sense for a team to trade for him next season. The Cavs want him around to shepherd younger players through the early stages of this rebuild. They’ll probably be able to get better assets in return for him at next year’s trade deadline. There’s also a chance the Cavs want Thompson long term, and could, therefore, keep him and offer him an extension over the summer. What he thinks: “Blake Griffin got traded. At the end of the day, if the trade is right and the pieces are guys they feel can help the franchise moving forward, I’m totally understanding. It’s a business. If you don’t have a no-trade clause, anything can happen.”
In chasing Davis, the Lakers may need a push from his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents James. “I’d say if the [Philadelphia 76ers offer Ben] Simmons, or with the [Boston] Celtics’ package of picks and young players, the Lakers would probably be third,” the former executive said. “One would think that [Pelicans general manager] Dell [Demps] would want a deal done around the draft [with Boston’s picks].”
In the meantime, Kuzma has shown he can help carry a team offensively. “He’s a legitimate scorer that fits the modern NBA perfectly,” a former general manager told Bleacher Report. “Kuzma has the highest value of the [Lakers’ young prospects]. He’s the most proven.”
There is no reason for the Cavs not to trade him. Really, he was acquired from the Jazz for Korver in December in large part because of his contract — it’s such a tradable commodity. They should move him for the best offer they get now because he’s a free agent at season’s end. He’s a capable player, yes, but at age 27 he hasn’t shown enough to warrant a new contract from Cleveland in this rebuild. A nice player, but not a cornerstone. What he thinks: “I don’t want to be traded, but we’ll see what happens. It ain’t up to me. I can’t dwell on something that ain’t happenin’. Just have to wait and see. I like being around my teammates. They’ve shown me so much love, why would I want to leave?”
The Big3 league will expand to 12 teams and play two days a week, an increase from its Friday night slate last season. The plan is for six teams to play in one city and six in another during an 18-city tour. The minimum age for a player has been lowered to 27, and the league is expected to target former Celtic Jared Sullinger.
It wasn’t that Griffin was angered by the trade. He was angry that he heard about it third-person. He was angry that as friendly as Rivers can be, he didn’t bother to pick up the phone and inform his franchise player, tabbed a “Clipper for life” when he signed a five-year, $173 million contract extension in June 2017.
“I haven’t spoken to him,” Rivers said of Griffin. “That’s happened many times in my career, so I don’t make a big deal of that. You guys do, but I don’t at all. I’ve had some guys, even some guys I’m very close to — most trades and departures don’t go very well, for the record. They just don’t. I can cite you 100 of them, Kendrick Perkins [in Boston], who was like my son. Nah, they don’t go well. We all come back eventually.”
“He’s not my coach anymore,” Griffin said of Rivers. “It was cool to be welcomed back like that [with a tribute video]. I appreciate all the fans. It was nice to get that game out of the way. It’s kind of compared to the first game of the year, in a way. It’s such a big hype, and now you’ve got to play 81 and now we’ve got to play 41 more or whatever it is. It’s over and we’ve got a lot of basketball left.”