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Boogie Still Not Expected to Be On Move
Thursday, Dec. 17
On Tuesday, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reported the Kings are "listening" but have "no plans to make a deal." Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reported there is "absolutely nothing" to the report linking Cousins to the Heat.
Cousins, 25, is averaging 25.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season. He is, however, shooting a career-low 42.1 percent from the field and has spent most of the last 10 months feuding with head coach George Karl.
The relationship between Karl and Cousins has been strained since even before the veteran coach was hired. Cousins' camp reportedly pushed behind the scenes to not have Karl hired at last season's trade deadline, setting a sour tone that's continued for most of their time together. The situation culminated with Cousins screaming at Karl in the locker room following a November loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Cousins, Karl and guard Rajon Rondo held a "powerful meeting" with one another late in November, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, but it hasn't carried over on the floor. The Kings have lost five of their last eight games, though they have won two straight.
Cousins' production has been at the center of many of those losses, as he shot 24.5 percent during Sacramento's three-game losing streak to start the month.
“I’ve been playing like (crud), man,” Cousins said, per Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “I say that’s our problem, it’s me. I’ve been playing like absolute (crud).”
Despite Cousins' "cruddy" play, he remains the Kings' best and most important player. They are 9.2 points better per 100 possessions with Cousins on the floor, per Basketball-Reference. There are few around the league that deny Cousins is one of the league's best players when engaged and perhaps its best center.
If the Kings decide dealing with Cousins is too much, Scotto reports they already have an idea of what to expect in a trade package.
The Heat would package Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow and a cap filler—likely in the form of Luol Deng, Chris Andersen, etc. The Celtics have a treasure trove of draft picks and a solid young nucleus from which Sacramento could choose. The Bulls really don't have much that should be attractive—Sacramento has no reason to want Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah or Pau Gasol—but could dangle Bobby Portis or even Nikola Mirotic to sweeten the pot.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald made a solid point as to why the Heat would be interested:
As it stands, though, the Kings are smart to hold onto Cousins. Even if he's imperfect, the odds of landing someone with his talent again are low.
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