All of the DeMarcus Cousins/George Karl snake in the weeds trade talk has been really fun to observe from a distance, but now it's potentially getting really real. With the Draft less than 24 hours away, Woj dropped the loosest of Wojbombs.
Sources: Lakers, Kings exchange framework of trade centered on DeMarcus Cousins today, discussions could intensify Thursday. Story soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2015
Well that doesn't necessarily mean anything, although his report also says the Kings are talking to other teams.
Twitter is talking about the Lakers sending some combination of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and the number two overall pick to Sacramento in exchange for the 24-year-old superstar. And fans of the Lakers, naturally, are acting like Jordan Clarkson is Jason Kidd-meets-Russell Westbrook so they think trading him is too much.
Like, I know Jordan Clarkson was adorable last season, but you fucking trade Jordan Clarkson for Boogie.— Noam Schiller (@noamschiller) June 25, 2015
[OBLIGATORY BOOGIE COUSINS-KOBE BRYANT DREAM SEQUENCE]
Anyway, more important is that second pick. If the Kings get that pick, there's a bigger concern for some that they will step in and steal D'Angelo Russell. I don't know that that's the case (I MEAN CLARKSON'S GREAT!). This is the Kings we're talking about. They could take Nik Stauskas again. We cannot assume anything about what Vivek wants. Adding to the intrigue is that everything the Lakers do impacts where their 2016 first round pick, currently clutched in Sam Hinkie's jacket pocket and owned by the Sixers.
What I'm even MORE interested in -- since this is all conjecture -- is the following tweet that I tweeted and will now embed.
I dunno if Boogie Cousins is the ideal candidate, but Sam Hinkie has spent 2 years waiting for a superstar to become available via trade.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) June 25, 2015
When the Sixers strike, it will be under cover of darkness. This Cousins thing is very public, and Twitter is making it seem like the Lakers are the only team Sacramento is negotiating with, but it's not like the Sixers don't have the ammo to go big with assets if Sam Hinkie thinks DeMarcus is worth the trouble. And Sam has a history of knowing how to get assets in order for that big trade piece to become available -- he was a key architect in getting the assembly required to bring James Harden to Houston.
This is somewhat similar to when the Wolves were dealing Kevin Love last year -- they wanted to trade their best player, but also win now, which are two things that are generally not in line with each other. Like shooting yourself in the foot before you run a marathon. Do you, Kings.
Keep every eye on this over the next day or two. It may not get solved by the time the draft starts, so don't assume the drama is dead once Thursday is over. But as you discuss which trades you would and wouldn't do, keep in mind that Boogie Cousins is at worst a Top 20 player in this league, 24 years old, and controlled for fair money (~15M per) over the next three seasons. And he's only been getting better. Is he a headache? Potentially, yes. Should the Sixers have drafted him instead of Evan Turner five years ago? Certainly, especially for all the Doug Collins fun that would have ensued between them.