The NBA trade rumors for the 2016 season have pretty much centered around a handful of NBA players. Among the names being tossed around the rumor mill are Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers, LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs, and Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings. In addition, Gay’s teammate in Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins, keeps finding his name being mentioned. The latest trade rumors focus on a potential deal involving Cousins heading to the Los Angeles Lakers with the Kings possibly getting guard D’Angelo Russell along with big man Julius Randle. Will this deal actually go down this season?
The Sportsrageous website’s Justin Gloria discussed the potential for a DeMarcus Cousin deal. The report talks about the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers are still young and building toward the future. However, as of this report, the team would be in the playoffs if the postseason started today. They are right behind Portland and Utah with a 4-4 record for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. Sacramento is a few spots below them at 4-5. Therefore, it’s being speculated that the Lakers might want to add a veteran star to their lineup for a boost in the postseason.
As mentioned, this is a young Lakers team full of potential emerging talent. Two of those talents are Randle and Russell, who would get sent to Sacramento along with Jose Calderon’s contract in this deal. That would help Sacramento start their climb to rebuild and possibly put the Lakers closer to being a respectable team again. As many Lakers fans know, Russell was part of that whole Nick Young debacle a season ago, and it made some of his teammates sour on him. However, the young point guard is leading the team in scoring with 15.4 points a game.
That’s only slightly above two other players on the roster, as Louis Williams is averaging 15.3 and Jordan Clarkson 15.1 points per game. Julius Randle is putting up 14.5 points a contest and also snatching down just over eight rebounds per game. Bring in Cousins, and he’d give the team a virtual double-double each night and a great inside presence. It would also put him on the frontline with promising No. 2 draft pick Brandon Ingram. All that said, it sounds nice, but one has to wonder why the teams would want this deal.
First of all, the trade fully checks out at the ESPN NBA Trade Machine. John Hollinger’s analysis suggests that it would help Los Angeles win six more games with Cousins, while Sacramento would lose four games in the deal. However, they would still pick up two players who are potential stars of the future.
The Lakers are currently a young rebuilding team, trying to right their ship for the postseason again. It’s being said that the Lakers would have a talented roster consisting of Cousins, Clarkson, Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng, Nick Young, and Lou Williams if they were to make this speculative move.
They failed to get to the playoffs last season, and that was the farewell tour for superstar Kobe Bryant. That said, Bryant was always a lure to bring in new stars to try to help him win a championship. Among them were Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. With no more Kobe, it seems the championship window is going to be several seasons away. Still, the Lakers have enough potential talent for the future that it makes little sense to deal two of the key pieces of their rebuilding puzzle. They’ll look to gain valuable experience as they continue towards that goal of the playoffs with the young players still continuing to flourish.
DeMarcus Cousins would probably make more sense for a team that could put him with another star or two searching for that championship run soon. As for the Lakers, they don’t necessarily have any stars yet on the team and would be wise to wait and see how things go with the young talents they have. The same is being said for Sacramento, as Bleacher Report mentions that Cousins still has a season left on his current deal there. So the team might want to see how well he works with their new head coach, and that might even spark them to acquire some other veterans to go with him. Keep in mind, Rudy Gay might be on the move.