Trades, coaches getting fired, endless rumors. It is all just another day in the life of the NBA, especially now that teams have had enough of a sample size to judge where they are based on where they expected to be.
In the never-ending quest for perfection that every NBA organization apparently believes it should be able to achieve with no problems, the rumor mill is heating up as the year comes to a close.
Here are the latest rumors swirling around some of the biggest names in the Association, some good, some bad, some indifferent, but always compelling.
DeMarcus Cousins Situation Getting Ridiculous
With the Sacramento Kings falling apart at the seams, it makes sense that DeMarcus Cousins would be the source of such disconnect between what goes on with the front office and coaching staff.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Cousins was reinstated by the front office after he was suspended due to a clash with head coach Keith Smart in the locker room.
Specifically, one person with knowledge of the situation said Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof initiated a dialogue with Cousins on Dec. 23, had him discuss the situation with Smart and then made it clear that Cousins would return to the team the following day at practice.
Considering that Smart is virtually on an island with this franchise right now, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that ownership undercut a decision that he made.
Certainly, with a team as messy as the Kings right now, having the team's leading scorer and rebounder sitting on the bench doesn't look very good. But the Kings need to figure out what direction they are headed and make necessary decisions to get where they want to go.
Raptors Not Looking To Deal Jose Calderon?
Despite some talk for a long time that the team could be interested in moving Jose Calderon for the right package, Sam Smith of NBA.com reports that the team seems to be more interested in shopping Kyle Lowry.
Though he’s out now injured, the Raptors supposedly would like to put Kyle Lowry in a trade package and keep Jose Calderon. The Raptors give up 11 more points per game when Lowry is on the court compared with Calderon.
Given his age and (slightly) declining stats, Calderon would seem to be the right piece to move. He probably has more value than Lowry at this point in time, and the Raptors aren't going anywhere right now.
Defensive metrics or not, the Raptors need to focus more on 2013 and beyond rather than trying to keep their stats respectable during a mediocre (at best) season.
Of course, the Raptors made a mistake trading a first-round pick to acquire Lowry in the first place, so anything they can do to try and rectify that would go a long way towards making them better in the future.
Andrea Bargnani As Good As Gone
Sticking with the Raptors for news, because they are apparently the source of everything in the NBA right now, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that Andrea Bargnani will be moved as soon as possible, if there is a market for him.
One source close to the situation said Friday that Bargnani remains "a lock to be moved." That naturally depends on finding a taker for the underachieving Italian forward...
Bargnani continues to be a mystery. He has the size and strength to be a dominant force, but he is too timid inside. His shooting percentage of 39.8 would be embarrassing for anyone, yet he should be spending most of his time in the paint, which makes it laughable.
Perhaps there is a quality player stuck inside of Bargnani just waiting to be unleashed. After all, he has had moments throughout his career where he looks like he can put it all together. It is just clear right now it won't happen in Toronto.