Lowe: Would Portland Consider Trading For DeMarcus Cousins?
Zach Lowe over at Grantland wrote a lengthy column about DeMarcus Cousins
and what exactly the Sacramento Kings should do with the talented yet notoriously difficult to manage center. Rather than focusing on the attitude issues that have seen Cousins draw an impressive number of fines and suspensions, Lowe spends the entirety of the piece looking at the on-court issues, particularly an unwillingness to play even average defense, that makes it difficult to predict what kind of interest he'll draw when his rookie contract expires.
In the end, Lowe comes to the conclusion that the Kings should eventually part ways with Cousins rather than sign him to a long-term, max or near-max deal. And it's here that Lowe wonders if the Trail Blazers might be interested in bringing Cousins in ...
It shouldn't be hard to find one, provided Cousins plays well this season. He's at a point in his career when he's neither young nor a veteran, meaning the Kings could trade him for any sort of player. Rebuilding teams with a stockpile of assets — Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, etc. — might view him as a player with proven NBA skills worth a major spot in their rebuilding project. (Though I suspect some such teams view him as poisonous to a culture they are trying to establish.) A mid-tier team with a veteran they know they may have to move at some point — Portland with LaMarcus Aldridge, Minnesota with Kevin Love or even Nikola Pekovic — might view Cousins as an asset both young and exciting, and already good enough to keep fans from revolting.
An interesting proposal, especially if you believe, as Lowe obviously does, that LaMarcus Aldridge
will eventually be traded
lest he leave Portland as a free agent
Cousins could be a valuable player on any team if he matured, both as a player and a person, along the same lines of a Zach Randolph (a corollary Lowe mentions). But could the Trail Blazers trade for Cousins, let alone signing him to a long-term deal, when he's shown little ability to remedy the issues that have plague him and the Kings through three NBA seasons? It's a tough question to answer.