Mercurial second-year post player DeMarcus Cousins has been banished from the team and reportedly has demanded a trade from the Sacramento Kings, according to Yahoo Sports. On a team filled with youth and immaturity, Cousins is a rising talent who brings with him plenty of baggage.
In light of his recent reported trade request, it appears the Kings and head coach Paul Westphal are more than willing to move Cousins as quickly as possible.
According to hoopshype.com, Cousins is scheduled to make roughly $3.6 million this season and $3.9 million next season. Here are a couple of intriguing trade partners for the Kings to look at.
Trade Scenario 1: DeMarcus Cousins ($3.6 million) and Jason Thompson ($3 million) to the Orlando Magic for Ryan Anderson ($2.2 million), Quentin Richardson ($2.4 million), Earl Clark ($1.2 million) and a future first-round draft pick.
This gives the Kings some workable assets in the form of the league's leading three-point shooter as of now (21 made threes) and two serviceable players in Richardson and Clark.
The draft pick will likely be a mid-first-round pick, but should come in handy for the Kings down the road.
The Magic would of course pick up Cousins, but also a nice 6'11" backup for Dwight Howard. Thompson is undoubtedly more advanced than Orlando's other young project, Daniel Orton.
Trade Scenario 2: Cousins and a future second-round draft pick to the New Jersey Nets for Shawne Williams ($3 million), DeShawn Stevenson ($2.5 million expiring contract), Marshon Brooks ($1.1 million) and a future first-round draft pick.
While on the surface this appears a bit far fetched, it would qualify as a steal for the Nets. Stevenson was recently signed to a one-year deal and would probably be waived by the Kings, but Brooks has been hot lately, averaging 12.2 points per game this season.
Williams is a former first-round pick who played well last season for the Knicks and would be an interesting young asset for the Kings. The Nets could part with three non-essential players and use Cousins as the third building block alongside PG Deron Williams and C Brook Lopez.
The long-term thinking for the Nets could be to solidify a later trade package to the Magic for Dwight Howard. Adding Cousins to a package that already included Lopez and multiple first rounders might be enough to push Magic GM Otis Smith to pull the trigger on a trade to assure Orlando receives multiple assets in return for Howard.
Trade Scenario 3: Cousins and Donte Greene ($1.7 million) to the Boston Celtics for JaJuan Johnson ($1 million), Chris Wilcox ($3 million), Sasha Pavlovic ($850k) and a future first-round draft pick.
While the salaries matter little to the Kings as they are under the cap, this trade makes sense for Boston. Pairing Cousins with a no-nonsense coach like Doc Rivers has multiple benefits. Moreover, having three veterans to keep Cousins in check could pay dividends for Boston when the Big Three retire or move on.
Boston has to start making moves for the long run, and getting younger without giving up valuable players is the best route.
For the Celtics, Johnson was a productive college player at Purdue, but probably an NBA role player at best. Wilcox gives the Kings a power forward in return for Cousins, and a player would could compete for a starting spot immediately in Sacramento.
Wilcox is only averaging roughly 11 minutes per game this season in two games played, so perhaps the Kings could offer more playing time.
The bottom line in a deal like this is that Cousins could go to a team with a serious demeanor and develop, while the Kings gain usable players and a draft pick.
For the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Cousins has showed flashes of potential, but being sent home by the coach means that essentially Cousins career as a King is over.
The market will not be overly competitive for Cousins based on his reputation and the fact that it is now known the Kings must move him.