Lakers Rumors: Lakers ‘Actively’ Pursuing DeMarcus Cousins


With the 2015 NBA Draft only three days away, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as one of the most “determined” trade suitors for Sacramento Kings All-Star Center DeMarcus Cousins according to league sources via ESPN’s Mark Stein.

According to Stein, the Kings have insisted to all teams interested that the 24-year-old Cousins is not available. The team’s new Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations (and former Laker), Vlade Divac told the Sacramento Bee in Sunday’s edition that, dealing away his best player “is not happening

However, although the blockbuster trade seems unlikely for the Lakers before Thursday’s draft, a potential three-team trade scenario has already been discussed that would land Cousins in Los Angeles.

"“Sources say that the Lakers, Kings and Orlando Magic have had exploratory dialogue on a three-way Cousins trade that would land the 24-year-old in Los Angeles. All three teams hold top-6 picks in Thursday’s NBA draft, and Orlando has a young top-flight center of its own in Nikola Vucevic, who could theoretically fill the Cousins void.”"

For the Lakers to potentially land a player like Cousins, they would have to be rolling the dice and risking all their young prospects, which include the likes of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson (NBA All-Rookie First Team) and the No. 2 Pick in Thursday’s Draft – whom many expect to be big man Jahlil Okafor from Duke University.

The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and the Magic all seem to have interest in Cousins as well, but the Lakers seem like the more active team, desperately trying to get back into playoff contention. Trading the franchise’s youthful core roster for the chance at landing Cousins to play with Kobe Bryant is an aggressive move by the franchise. Bryant will be entering his 20th season and is in the last year of his contract.

The Lakers snagging Cousins would be a great move simply because they will be acquiring a talented player who will be under control for three more years. Cousins is scheduled to make $15M in the 2015-16 season, $16M the next and $18M the final year of his deal. He would not hurt LA’s cap situation going forward.

At those numbers, Cousins would be a bargain especially with the cap rising after the 2016 season. The Lakers would be able to add another significant player this season and possibly another when Bryant’s deal comes off the books. This essentially would make the Kentucky product LA’ s franchise player.

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Cousins is arguably the best center in the NBA at the moment. Anthony Davis is probably the closest thing talent wise; although he was tied for third in the NBA in double-doubles (47) to Davis’ 42. Cousins was also the only Center to have two triple-doubles in the NBA.

DeMarcus had an outstanding season in Sacramento. He averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Sacramento got off to a great start in the 2014-15 season but when he went down with an injury, the Kings never recovered. His impact on the court is tremendous and if the Lakers trade for him, their rebuild would be expedited.

It may be a lot to give up for Cousins to some, but he’s a game-changer in my opinion. A superb big man that can score, pass and defend. On top of that, it doesn’t hamper the Lakers precious cap situation. We’ll see what transpires in the upcoming days leading up to the draft.

Next: 2015 NBA Draft: Lakers Future Looks Bright