UPDATE (11:20 a.m. ET): The Sacramento Kings’ owner and their head coach reportedly aren’t on the same page.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive will not allow head coach George Karl to trade star center DeMarcus Cousins, a source close to the team told ESPN’s Chris Broussard on Tuesday.
UPDATE (3:45 p.m. ET): Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac has echoed Ranadive’s sentiments.
Just spoke with a very irritated Vlade Divac. Said he is not trading Cousins, and denies Karl pushing for any deal involving All-Star center—
Ailene Voisin (@ailene_voisin) June 23, 2015
ORIGINAL STORY: Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl reportedly has had enough of DeMarcus Cousins.
Karl, who took over the Kings midway through last season, is actively pushing the team to trade the All-Star center, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported early Tuesday morning.
“Despite Sacramento Kings management’s public insistence that DeMarcus Cousins is unavailable in deals, coach George Karl’s intense desire to trade the All-Star center has made it increasingly unlikely this coach-star partnership can peacefully coexist next season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
“Karl has been recruiting Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac and multiple players on the Kings’ roster to unite with him in making the case to owner Vivek Ranadive that Cousins needs to be traded, league sources said.”
Karl and Cousins reportedly have “been unable to build any” trust with one another since the former replaced Mike Malone — a favorite of Cousins’ — as Kings head coach in February.
Cousins and Malone reportedly were close, but “Under Karl,” Wojnarowski wrote, “(the Cousins-Malone) relationship couldn’t begin to be duplicated in the final weeks of the season.”
So, if Cousins is dealt, where might he end up?
Despite his reportedly rocky relationship with Karl and his penchant for technical fouls, Cousins still is one of NBA’s best big men. The No. 5 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Cousins has averaged 18.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game over his five-year career, including 24.1 and 12.7 this past season — both career highs.
Because of this, it won’t be easy for a team to pry him away from Sacramento. The Los Angeles Lakers, who own the No. 2 pick in this week’s draft, reportedly have strong interest in Cousins, but Wojnarowski’s sources say the Kings currently are placing more value on “established, veteran players” than on even the highest of draft picks.
The Boston Celtics weren’t mentioned in Wojnarowski’s report, but given Danny Ainge’s long-rumored interest in Cousins, it’s fair to speculate they could have their eyes on the 24-year-old big.
Cousins hasn’t made any public comments recently about the possibility of being traded, but he sent this tweet shortly after Wojnarowski’s report:
DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) June 23, 2015
It’s safe to say things aren’t all sunshine and roses in Sacramento at the moment.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images