Don’t get your hopes up, Celtics fans. DeMarcus Cousins is not coming to Boston.
Following Tuesday’s report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the common sentiment seems to be that Cousins’ Sacramento Kings tenure is nearing its end. The All-Star center, according to Wojnarowski’s sources, simply cannot get along with head coach George Karl, and vice versa, prompting Karl to lead a campaign to ship Cousins out of town.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac both denied Cousins is on the trading block, but let’s assume for the moment that he is.
The Celtics’ interest in the 24-year-old big man has long been rumored, and Boston’s cornucopia of assets — in the form of 2015 draft picks, future selections and promising young talent — can rival any NBA club’s. That should make the C’s an attractive trade partner for the folks out in California’s capital, right?
As Wojnarowski details in his article, neither Ranadive (whose team soon will move into a new arena) nor Karl (who hopes to break Don Nelson’s all-time wins record) is particularly interested in planning for the future. Instead, they’re reportedly seeking “established, veteran players.”
“Karl’s interest isn’t in cultivating long-term assets,” Wojnarowski writes, “but rather compiling as many victories as possible in the near future.”
You could argue this is a pretty terrible way to build a franchise (I would), especially one that hasn’t finished higher than 11th in the Western Conference since 2005-06. But that’s beside the point.
The point is, what the Celtics are selling, the Kings — if these reports are accurate — have no interest in buying.
Boston’s entire appeal revolves around youth and potential. The roster is devoid of “established, veteran players.”
And even if the Kings do soften their win-now-at-all-costs stance a bit, any package the Celtics could put together likely could not match that of another reported Cousins suitor: the Los Angeles Lakers, who own the second overall pick in this week’s NBA draft, as well as the seventh selection in last year’s in big man Julius Randle.
A deal with the Lakers could leave Sacramento with two of the top six picks Thursday night.
Karl’s former squad, the Denver Nuggets, also is a team to consider. CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger reported Tuesday, citing league sources, that the coach is “enamored with the idea of a deal that would send Kenneth Faried, Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler to Sacramento.”
The Celtics certainly could use Cousins, who despite his attitude issues and technical foul tendencies would immediately become Boston’s best player. But of the myriad moves Danny Ainge & Co. seem prepared to make this summer, bringing in Boogie will not be one of them.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images