DeMarcus Cousins Trade Rumor and Report Round-up

If you didn't have any information about DeMarcus Cousins' personality, you may have wondered why Kentucky's Colossus was taken fifth overall in one of the weakest drafts in recent history. Cousins was a mammoth 6'11 292 pounds—7'6'' wingspan!—coming out of college. He was an absolute monster on the boards. Great footwork and touch. Decent speed and driving ability, considering his size.

Heck, given the decline of the position, you might say DeMarcus Cousins has the ability to develop into the best center in the NBA. Why then, would John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors and Wesley Johnson be selected ahead of him?

Maturity. Attitude. Work Ethic.

Those were the red flags ESPN displayed on the screen each time draft experts discussed Cousins, along with a seemingly endless variety of clips showing Cousins yelling at Kentucky coach John Calipari. In fact, I can't recall one analyst mentioning Cousins without the obligatory disclaimer about his disposition. Draft expert Jay Bilas, for instance, said: "The only thing that can stop DeMarcus Cousins from leading the league in rebounding and being an elite big man is himself."

Now, it's deja-vu with reports of shouting matches between DeMarcus and Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal and rumors that Cousins has demanded a trade circulating.

Below you will find a list of the latest rumors and reports on Cousins, including teams reportedly interested the services of this apparent loose cannon:

Chris Mannix from Sports Illustrated via Twitter: "Just saw Cousins/Kings situation. Keep an eye on Houston. Cousins is just the kind of risk center-starved Rockets might take. … New Jersey has expressed interest in Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell … Multiple executives believe any offer Kings get for Cousins will be a "low ball." Keeping him away from team hurts offers."

Sam Amick from Sports Illustrated via Twitter: "Source says DeMarcus Cousins will be joining the Kings on their road trip to Memphis and Denver."

Marc Spears from Yahoo! Sports: "Before the Kings' 96-80 victory over the Hornets Sunday, Westphal told reporters that Cousins requested trades on Dec. 24 and again after Saturday night's loss to the Knicks. In a statement released by the Kings earlier Sunday, Westphal said he ordered Cousins to stay away from that evening's game because Cousins 'continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team.'

Teams interested in Cousins have called the Kings, but none believes the team will seriously consider trading him so early in his career. Several rival executives expect the Kings will eventually make a coaching change and try a tougher style with Cousins."

DeMarcus Cousins via Sports Illustrated: "'If you think I'm such a cancer to this team, then trade me now,' one source claimed Cousins said while leaving a meeting with Westphal in his office Saturday night."

John Feigen from Ultimate Rockets (Blog): "The Rockets have been frequent trade partners with the Kings. They have excess young talent and future picks to offer. They have short-term contracts to configure in a deal to make a trade work for a rebuilding, young team.

Cousins, for whatever issues he has had in a little more than a season in the NBA, is a big-time talent, the sort the Rockets have eagerly hoped to acquire without nose diving to those early lottery picks where players like that are taken.

With Kevin McHale, they feel they have the kind of communication-oriented coach that could work well with a young player that has had issues, let's say, embracing traveling in the same direction as his team. They would hope McHale's Hall of Fame status would bring the sort of tangible credibility that could influence Cousins. They have a coaching staff selected to work with young players and a locker room of professionals."

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Charles Joel is a member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
Updated Monday, Jan 2, 2012