NBA Trade Rumors: Sacramento Kings Can't Afford to Deal DeMarcus Cousins

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 29, 2012

After things reportedly got heated between DeMarcus Cousins and Sacramento Kings coach Keith Smart in last week's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, there are more trade rumors sprouting up surrounding the 22-year-old big man.

Cousins recently hired agent Dan Fegan, which has some thinking he will ask for a trade after the altercation with Smart, as Chad Ford of ESPN points out in his weekly chat.

The problem for the Kings is that Cousins is their best player and it may be difficult to get a lot of value for him because of his history battling with coaches and teammates in the past.

In that sense, the Kings must keep Cousins at this juncture and hope things can be worked out. You only have to look at Wednesday's 109-91 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers to know how hopeless Sacramento is without Cousins.

The Kings are currently 9-19. It's hard to imagine where they would be without the play of Cousins, who has averaged 16.6 points and 9.5 rebounds while registering a PER of 18.9 this season.

It's also worth nothing that, while Cousins allegedly got into an argument with Smart, he has also been backed by Smart since the 48-year-old coach took over in January following the firing of Paul Westphal.

Cousins also seemed sorry for what had transpired.

He said, via ESPN:

I was wrong...Something was said, and I just should have stayed quiet. Is it a humbling thing? Yeah, I will say that. I mean, I messed up and I apologize to my teammates for responding the way I did and I'll move on from it.

At least on the surface, it seems like there is a still a chance things can be worked out between Cousins and Smart. One thing's for sure: Cousins respects Smart way more than he respected Westphal.

The fact of the matter is, the Kings aren't in the position to trade Cousins. The franchise can't afford another step backward and the return for Cousins wouldn't be worth his talent.

 

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