clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lakers want to trade for DeMarcus Cousins, according to report

New, comments

They will fail, but it's worth trying.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who own the No. 2 pick in the draft and have always been a destination for stars, are among the teams most aggressive in pursuing a trade for DeMarcus Cousins, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

The Kings, to this point, have shown no interest in dealing their star center. Vlade Divac, the Kings' vice president of basketball operations, told the Sacramento Bee that a deal involving Cousins "is not happening."

But that won't stop the Lakers from giving it a shot. They are trying to engage the Kings on a three-team deal involving the Magic and their prized center, Nikola Vucevic. Talks between the two teams are "exploratory," per Stein, but it doesn't currently appear that the Lakers have the assets needed to entice the Kings to make a deal.

The Celtics and Nuggets are also reportedly pushing to acquire Cousins in a trade, but the Kings still are rejecting all proposals.

Why the Lakers will acquire Cousins

The Lakers are in the market for a star that can lead the franchise after Kobe Bryant retires. That man could very well be Cousins after the Chris Paul trade was vetoed and the Dwight Howard acquisition went poorly. Cousins may already be the league's best inside scorer. He's a sure thing, whereas a draft pick like Jahlil Okafor or D'Angelo Russell will take time to develop.

This merely explains why the Lakers are interested in Cousins, though. The problem is ...

Why the Lakers won't acquire Cousins

... There's another team that has to trade Cousins to make that happen. Even if the Kings do decide they need to start over and deal Cousins, there are many reasons they won't deal him to the Lakers specifically.

One is that the Lakers don't have much to trade. L.A. has three trade assets: the No. 2 pick, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. If all three are on the table, the Lakers have a competitive offer, but that's unlikely to happen. If the Kings can't get even two of the three, it's not a deal Sacramento should consider, not when the Celtics have a war chest of draft picks and young talent. The Magic would have to add assets for Sacramento to even consider the deal, and they have little incentive to do so if they're not getting Cousins themselves.

More importantly, the Lakers and Kings are historic rivals that play in the same conference. When forced to lose a superstar, teams generally deal that player to the other conference. The Lakers and Kings are a decade removed from their great rivalry in the early 2000s, but the feelings still linger.

Likelihood of happening: 1 out of 10

There's always a chance, but it's hard to believe this deal will happen.

Lakers Nation: The Lakers don't want to miss out on "Michael Jordan" by chasing a big