While there's no indication the Sacramento Kings are shopping star DeMarcus Cousins in the wake of hiring George Karl, Grantland's Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe discussed the possibility of teams making a "godfather offer" for Cousins on the latest episode of the B.S. Report podcast.
Lowe believes a "smart, proactive team" will call about the availability of Cousins and make one of those offers, and Sam Smith of Bulls.com says the Boston Celtics are rumored to be a team in pursuit. Smith notes that Cousins could be available because he may not be a fit in Karl's uptempo system.
The Celtics have a boatload of future first-round picks at their disposal, which would be necessary in any trade offer for Cousins. Lowe thinks the minimum offer would be in the neighborhood of a good young player plus at least two first-round picks.
But that might not be close to enough, even with some of Cousins' issues in Sacramento. The big man has improved every season and is still just 24 years old. Would the Kings really bail on their franchise centerpiece?
Why Cousins will get traded
When it first looked like Karl was going to get the Kings job, it was reported that Cousins' camp wasn't too thrilled. While the situation was ultimately smoothed over, perhaps some ill feelings remain and Cousins won't like playing in Karl's fast-paced system. But if this sounds like an idiotic reason to trade your star player, that's because it is.
SB Nation presents: Awesome NBA trades that SHOULD happen, but never will.
Why Cousins won't get traded
Of course Cousins won't get traded. He's a stud 24-year-old big man who is one of the most devastating offensive forces in the NBA. He has gotten better every season on both ends of the floor, and the Kings just inked him to a long-term extension.
Is Cousins the best fit for Karl's system? Maybe not, but a player as talented as he is should be able to fit in any system. Furthermore, Cousins is an athletic freak who should be able to adapt to that up-and-down system. Greg Wissinger at Sactown Royalty has more on why this supposed issue makes little sense:
Let's look at why this makes no sense. Where is this speculation coming from that Karl and Cousins can't work well together? Certainly not from Sacramento. And I know this, not because of sources, but because you don't intentionally and sloppily pursue a coach that you think will instantly clash with your franchise cornerstone. And do you know why you don't do that? Because doing so immediately thrusts you into a position of weakness when trading your star player. Cousins himself has said he has no problem with Karl, doesn't even know Karl, but he's looking forward to having a clear direction.
Another reason we can put this rumor to rest? The trade deadline is Thursday, February 19th. The Kings first game under Karl is Friday, February 20th. Why in the world would the Kings trade their best player before even giving the Karl and Cousins pairing a single game? It simply makes no sense.
Sacramento showed promise at the beginning of the year with Cousins leading the charge, and the starting lineup has been strong this season. With a good coach like Karl now in place, there needs to be a renewed focus on defense and improvements made to the bench. If that happens, the Kings could make some noise in the very near future, so trading Cousins isn't the answer.
Likelihood of Kings trading Cousins
It's hard to rule out crazy stuff happening in the NBA, but there's a 0/10 chance this happens. It's too nutty, even for the Kings.