The calendar may say 2013, but the NBA rumor mill is just as busy as it was last year. From players possibly changing teams to head coaches pondering a return to the sideline, the next few weeks in the Association should be just as exciting off of the court as it is in the arenas...
Is DeMarcus Cousins on the trade block?
Sacramento Kings general manager Geoff Petrie issued a firm denial when asked if troubled center DeMarcus Cousins was on the trade market.
"You can put that [rumor] to rest," said Petrie in an interview with David Aldridge of NBA.com. "He's not going anywhere."
Other GMs have said similar things in the past shortly before trading players, so it's not impossible that Petrie reverses course before next month's trade deadline. Four teams (including the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic) are reported to be the leaders in the clubhouse as it pertains to a potential Cousins deal, but Sacramento won't easily part ways with one of the game's best young centers.
Whatever organization Cousins plays for next year will have its work cut out for it when harnessing the talented 22-year-old's emotions. Cousins has already been suspended three times this season, and the third-year center has been a technical foul magnet ever since he arrived in the league.
Could Paul Millsap be dealt before the trade deadline?
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin benched Paul Millsap for the final 16 minutes of the team's 107-96 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 30.
This was probably an isolated incident of Corbin trying to find some sort of combination that would work versus Lob City, but could it be a harbinger of things to come?
Millsap and center Al Jefferson are both on the final years of their deals, and with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings, it's likely that Utah will deal one of its two starting bigs prior to the February 21 trade deadline. If nothing else, it's definitely a situation that bears watching over the next few weeks.
Nets will reportedly reach out to Phil Jackson soon
P.J. Carlesimo may have received a vote of confidence from Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King, but all signs are pointing to the team contacting Phil Jackson in the coming days.
Brooklyn owner Mikhail Prokhorov played coy when asked specifically about Jackson last week, but it's clear that the Russian billionaire would love to make a big splash by having the 11-time NBA champion lead the Nets.
Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger, recently sent a text to David Aldridge of NBA.com stating that the former Bulls and Lakers coach "has no interest in the Nets' job at this time." That statement is unlikely to deter Prokhorov until he gets a firm refusal from Jackson himself.
Houston Rockets considering options regarding Royce White
Houston Rockets first-round draft pick Royce White recently refused an assignment to the NBA's Developmental League, and the team is considering all of its available options, including a possible suspension, according to the Houston Chronicle.
White, who suffers from anxiety disorder, has yet to play a regular-season game for the Rockets after being selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. Houston has been working with White to develop a plan to help the rookie deal with his overall mental health, but the two sides have yet to finalize the details of the proposal.
In a statement and a series of tweets, White maintains that the Rockets aren't handling this situation to his satisfaction. While we may never know the details of White's dealings with the Rockets, it's in the best interests of all parties that this dispute comes to an amicable solution sooner rather than later.