NBC Boston reported on January 6, 2013 that Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was working on a deal to land DeMarcus Cousins. Since then, one message has been made perfectly clear by numerous reports.
The Celtics are the NBA's longest long shot to land Cousins.
Sam Amick of USA Today confirmed said belief, reporting that DMC would not be headed to the Celtics. In fact, the Sacramento Kings appear to have no interest in a trade regardless of who approaches them.
If Amick's sources are correct, no team will land him by the time the trade deadline comes and passes.
DeMarcus Cousins is not going to the Celtics. Teams continue to be told that he's not available. That is all.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 7, 2013
So much for that.
In other words, Boston doesn't have what Sacramento is looking for.
According to league sources, the Celtics have, indeed, inquired about Cousins, but that shouldn’t come as a great revelation in that they, like most every NBA club, are constantly checking the marketplace to see if a bargain can be had.
Word is, however, that the Kings are asking for a high draft pick and people who can help them now.
If Boston had a shot at landing Cousins, it'd likely come by breaking up their current core.
The only players on the Celtics' roster that could help Sacramento now are their perennial All-Stars. Those, of course, are the presumably untouchable Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
It may be a business, but it'd be hard to believe that GM Danny Ainge would ship veterans such as KG or Pierce to a team that has a slim chance of making the postseason.
Furthermore, it's Garnett that many would expect to mentor and tame Cousins. After all, the two are quite similar in terms of their attitude aside from one very important factor.
KG knows when to turn it down and show respect.
As for Rondo, to trade him for Cousins would be to abandon the value of the deal altogether. The Celtics may be enamored with Avery Bradley, but he has displayed no signs of being a legitimate starting lead guard.
In other words, Boston has nothing to offer. Not if they're hoping for anything but a rebuilding process.
Lee became eligible for a trade on December 15, 2012.
The Celtics presently boast a crowded backcourt that is headed by Rondo, former NBA champion Jason Terry and the more favored Bradley. With such depth, minutes are going to be tough to come by for Lee.
For instance, Lee played 40 minutes on December 29, 2012. He played just 12 on January 2, 2013 and nine on January 5.
A major reason for this dip is Bradley's return from shoulder surgery.
The former Texas Longhorn has displayed an instant impact on the Celtics' woeful defense. Bradley's average of 1.0 steal in 20.7 minutes is just one example of such a truth.
The Celtics are allowing 96.7 points per game on the season. They're allowing 83.6 points per 48 minutes when Bradley is on the floor.
That number rises to 95.4 when he's on the bench.
This leaves Lee as the odd man out. Even if Lee is dealt, however, said trade will not include Cousins.
Especially not after DMC's recent string of games proved his All-NBA caliber ability.
Cousins has responded to early-season adversity by averaging 22.0 points, 14.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals over the past five games—numbers that spoke louder than any trade rumor ever could.
The Kings aren't letting go of DMC. Even if they were, Boston would be the least likely destination.
No matter how proper a fit it would be.