Don’t include DeMarcus Cousins’ name in the NBA trade rumor mill.
Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac vehemently declared Monday to ESPN via telephone that the team won’t trade Cousins before the Feb. 23 NBA trade deadline. Sacramento instead wants to retain the All-Star center for years to come.
“We’re not trading DeMarcus,” Divac told ESPN. “We hope he’s here for a long time.”
Citing sources, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Tuesday that Divac met with Cousins and his agent, telling them to ignore rampant trade speculation and prepare to receive a lucrative contract offer. Under terms of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, which takes effect in July, Cousins could sign a maximum Designated Player contract extension worth around $219 million over five years.
Divac told ESPN, “We are going in that direction,” when asked about Cousins potentially receiving a maximum offer, per Stein.
CSN California reported last month that Cousins is keen to signing a maximum-money contract extension with Sacramento.
Cousins, 26, has been the subject of countless trade rumors, which have linked him to teams such as the Boston Celtics and, most recently, the Phoenix Suns during his six-year career. But Divac apparently wants to end the speculation by telling the rest of the league not to bother pursuing Sacramento’s franchise center.
Either that’s the case or Divac is employing a highly unconventional negotiating ruse.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images
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