The Feb. 15 trade deadline is still over six weeks away, but that hasn't quieted the rumor mill on Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who returned to the team Friday night after a two-game suspension stemming from an argument with head coach Keith Smart.
ESPN's Marc Stein writes that both the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons are interested in Cousins should the Kings make him available. Stein adds that despite extreme reservations from owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, Cousins could be put on the trading block in the next month and a half:
"There's a growing sense among potential suitors that under-fire Kings general manager Geoff Petrie, who has overseen zero trips to the playoffs under five coaches in the six-plus seasons since Rick Adelman left town, would be willing to move Cousins, preferably in exchange for a dependable veteran of quality or two who could bring some instant improvement to a franchise stuck in lottery land."
Cousins got in to an argument with Smart during the first half of a loss last Friday to the Los Angeles Clippers. The argument apparently spilled in to the Kings locker room at halftime, causing Smart to tell Cousins to stay in the locker room for the rest of the game. The next day the Kings suspended Cousins indefinitely. The team then announced his suspension had been lifted after one game, but Smart decided to sit Cousins for one more game after that. He was also suspended by the league earlier this season for an altercation involving San Antonio Spurs color commentator Sean Elliott.
Cousins returned to the line up for Friday night's win over the Knicks where he tallied 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.