Rumors have begun to swirl that the Los Angeles Lakers have become the leader in pursuit of DeMarcus Cousins. Vlade Divac has stated Cousins is almost untradeable, but is this in the best interest of the team. In this article, I will present a trade between three teams, that offers both equal value now and the future for all of them.
The three teams being presented in this trade are the Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have little to offer the Kings for them to even consider trading Cousins, so a third team will be necessary to make this happen. The Magic have a plethora of young talent, along with a high draft pick. Although the Kings are very reluctant to trading Cousins, he has had his issues with the organization from the start, and maybe time for both sides to separate for the better. The Kings ransom is high for Cousins, but most teams are willing to give up a lot to acquire a player some consider to be a top ten, even top five player in the league. Here is the trade between the three teams:
Los Angeles Lakers:
2nd Overall Pick
5th Overall Pick
Why Each Team Does This:
Los Angeles Lakers:
The Lakers are in need of finding a star to replace Kobe Bryant after this next season. Cousins is the perfect fix for them. Cousins offers an elite skill set, and the opportunity to draw other players to LA to play alongside him. Giving up Randle and the 2nd overall pick hurt, but with a win now mode, with Bryant’s last season, they will view this as worth it. Cousins also only turns 25 before the season starts, has years left on his contract; this will be crucial as he becomes their starter block for the future. With Cousins in tow, the Lakers could pursue a shooting guard like Wesley Matthews as well, which would give them a nice trio of Cousins, Bryant, and Matthews, along with the continued development of Clarkson. This would allow for the Lakers to make some noise next season in pursuit of a championship run in Bryant’s last season.
Giving up Vucevic hurts, especially after giving him an extension last offseason, but the pursuit to find a star player outweighs this. At the number two pick, Orlando will have the selection of Towns or Okafor. Both of these players offer much higher upside than that of Vucevic, and at a much cheaper price. The addition of Stauskas is just an added bonus, as he could develop into a great shooter off the bench for the Magic. Coming into his sophomore season, Stauskas will have a better grasp of the game, and playing alongside a bunch of young guys should allow for him to develop much better, than his current situation in Sacramento. With the cap space gained from trading Vucevic, the Magic can than look to retain Harris to fill their need at the three.
The Kings may seem like losers of this trade at first, but they have a great opportunity to become relevant again with this trade. The Kings have gone nowhere with Cousins on the roster. They can not draw a marquee free agent, and playing in the Western Conference, they are stuck unable to stay competitive enough to make the playoffs. Trading away Cousins for Randle, Vucevic, and the fifth overall pick will allow for a complete overhaul of their roster, and start of a new rebuild. Randle and Vucevic could anchor their frontcourt, although their interior defense would be suspect to say the least, they would have a potent offense. With their frontcourt set, the Kings could look to target a point guard and a wing player. Emmanuel Mudiay could slip past the Knicks, who select fourth, and then Mudiay, who garners comparisons to John Wall could become the point guard of the future for the Kings. At the sixth spot, the Kings could target a wing like Justise Winslow or Stanley Johnson to anchor their perimeter defense. Kristaps Porzingis could also be an option as a draft and stash. Mudiay, Winslow, and Porzingis all stand the chance to be selected by the Knicks, so any of them could alter the way the Kings draft. The Kings would then also have to consider what to do with Rudy Gay. Would they use him as a veteran leader, or to try and acquire more draft picks. I would vote for the latter, but Gay offers the scoring ability to keep the Kings competitive for next season, which they could want. Along with building for the future, this would give the Kings the ability to gain another high draft pick, to stock up on as much young talent as possible before they start to develop and make the Kings potential championships contenders. A core of McLemore, Randle, Vucevic, and two high draft picks would allow for the Kings to become a very young team with dangerous amounts of potential in the future.
All of these teams become winners in this trade. As stated before, LA gets a star for the post Kobe era, the Magic can acquire the possibly star they are looking for, and the Kings can just wipe the plate clean, and do a complete rebuild, with good, young, high potential players. This trade will probably never happen as the Kings seem very adamant about not trading Cousins, but hypothetical trades are always fun to think about.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17