DeMarcus Cousins is now in his seventh season as an NBA player, and he finds himself for the 6th year in a row surrounded by trade rumors. The Kings are a poorly managed, volatile franchise with no long term plans, and Boogie is an aggressive player with a bad temper. Add in the fact that Boogie is one of the best offensive centers in the league today and you’ve got a perfect storm for trade rumors.
But this year is different, because this year seems to be the year he and the Kings finally part ways. He’s only got a year left on his contract, and he’s made it clear he doesn’t intend to re-sign. The Kings need to trade him now before he walks away and they get nothing. While the deadline for trades isn’t until February, most NBA executives are in agreement that Boogie will be gone faster than that.
“I’d say they have three months, tops,” one Western Conference general manager told Sean Deveney of the 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.”
It’s a little early for the Kings to be giving up on the season, especially since they just got Darren Collison back from an 8 game suspension. They’ll play 5 home games in a row between now and Thanksgiving, and most suspect that if they don’t find a way to turn things around during that stretch, that the Kings will finally start looking for trade options.
Boogie is a strange transfer target so it’s hard to predict where he’ll land. He’s currently under contract for $17 million this year and $18 million next year, a bargain for a player of his caliber in today’s high paying league. He’s also got the skill set to slot in seamlessly to virtually any team that wants him. He has a lot of baggage though. He picks up fines seemingly every week, gets more technical fouls than just about anyone and is known for an fiery temper that could cause problems for a team that picks him up.
“You have one owner in Sacramento who does not want to give him up,” an Eastern Conference GM told Deveney. “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.”
“Owners are thinking about how much they’ve got to pay the coaches DeMarcus might get fired.”
“It is not going to happen unless the Kings cave a little,” a West GM said. “No one is going to give up too much for someone who might ruin your team’s chemistry this year, then ruin it next year when he is playing for free-agent money. If they don’t see that, then I don’t think it changes and I don’t think he goes anywhere. I don’t know that is good for them or for him, either. But that’s the reality.”