According to the latest NBA trade rumors, Danny Ainge and company are interested in the Sacramento Kings’ center. But unless the Celtics offer Rajon Rondo, Sac-Town can do much better than anything else they have to throw on the table.
David Aldridge of NBA.com reported that Boston wants Cousins and why wouldn’t it? Jason Collins is its starting center for crying out loud.
While a starting five of Rondo, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Cousins looks sick on paper, what’s enticing the Kings to make that happen?
Boston’s most appealing offer would be a package of Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and draft picks for Cousins, which works salary wise according to ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine. But who’s the centerpiece the Kings’ rebuilding project in that swap?
Sullinger and Melo were selected 21st and 22nd overall in the 2012 NBA draft. They may both develop into respectable players, but neither has the upside to be a star. While Bradley may one day be the best on-ball defender in the league (according to 82games.com, he held opposing shooting guards to 7.6 PER a game last season), he’s too inconsistent offensively to be considered a centerpiece.
Cousins is averaging 16.3 points and 9.5 boards per game in a down year. He just finished with a triple-double leading Sacramento to a 118-96 victory over Boston on Sunday night.
Geoff Petrie must trade him—Cousins’ immaturity has backfired on the Kings one too many times already—but he shouldn’t pull the trigger until the Kings receive an offer that nets them a player with star potential in return.
Outside of Rondo, the Celtics don’t have that. And he’s already a star, so Ainge won’t offer him. That’s why Sacramento should ignore Boston’s calls unless out of the blue Sullinger starts averaging 18 and 10.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.