Sources close to nbaonnbc.com confirm that Danny Ainge is working to complete a deal to bring Cousins to Boston, tonight.— NBA on NBC Boston (@NBAonNBCBoston) January 7, 2013
Apparently, the Kings have their eyes set on Avery Bradley, while the Celtics are more comfortable surrendering Courtney Lee in any deal for Cousins.
Let's take a look at three possible scenarios that could bring Cousins to Boston.
Note: Each potential deal works under the NBA's salary cap and luxury tax rules.
Additional Note: Any deal involving Jeff Green, like the one rumored to be in the works by NESN.com, can't happen until Jan. 15, which is earliest Green could be moved. We've excluded him in our hypothetical deals.
Trade Scenario No. 1: Boston Celtics acquire DeMarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes for Avery Bradley, Jason Terry and Jared Sullinger.
In this deal, Boston gets its man in Cousins, but has to take on the salary of Chuck Hayes in order to make the dollars work out. The reports linked above all indicate that the Celtics are reluctant to include Avery Bradley, but they haven't explicitly ruled out trading the promising young defender.
In addition to Bradley, the Kings would also get a solid young player in Sullinger to replace Cousins on the interior and a nice bench scorer in Terry, whom they could pretty easily re-route to another team that had more use for a veteran shooter.
Trade Scenario No. 2: Boston Celtics acquire Demarcus Cousins and John Salmons for Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jared Sullinger.
If the Kings can't get Avery Bradley, you can bet they'll need some more pot-sweetening from the Celtics in order to get a deal done. In this case, Boston takes on John Salmons' contract, which still has three years and about $24 million left on it. We're willing to bet that the Celtics would take on a little salary if it meant getting a young big man capable of things like this:
The rest of the parties are the same, but in this deal, the Kings would be able to unload a less productive player that makes more money in order to offset the Celtics' refusal to include Bradley. Salmons puts a nice ding in Boston's cap, but adding Cousins would make that pill easier to swallow.
Trade No. 3: Boston Celtics acquire DeMarcus Cousins and Travis Outlaw for Courtney Lee, Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger.
This deal gives the Kings two rookies on affordable deals, a reasonably priced wing defender and a solid three-point shooter in Lee. It also allows them to dump the $9 million that Travis Outlaw is owed over the next three years.
If Sacramento is looking for a fresh start and the Celtics aren't willing to part with Bradley, this deal definitely nets the Kings the best haul of young and affordable players.
Boston would lose both rookie big men, but with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce rapidly aging, there's a good chance that the C's would sacrifice the future to take a shot with Cousins in the near term.