- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings exchanged possible frameworks of a trade centered on All-Star DeMarcus Cousins on Wednesday and discussions could intensify on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Kings started to engage with teams and explore possible trade scenarios beyond the Lakers on Wednesday, league sources said. Sacramento management has publicly said it won't trade Cousins, but that stance has increasingly softened and the franchise is proceeding further on moving him, league sources said.
After Sacramento Kings coach George Karl pushed for Kings management to trade Cousins this spring, Cousins is unenthusiastic about returning to play for Karl and would be eager for a deal to the Lakers, league sources said.
Opposing teams are trying to deciper whether the Kings are making a sincere effort to accomodate Cousins with a trade – or simply trying to placate him that they tried and were unable to find a suitable deal.
Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac has pursued a possible deal that would include a bevvy of assets, including the Lakers' No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson and other draft assets, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Sacramento also would want to unload the remainder of forward Carl Landry's two years, $13.5 million contract, league sources said.
Minimally, the Lakers have no intention of including Randle in a deal for Cousins, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Randle, a power forward, was the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft and missed most of his rookie season after leg surgery. The Lakers are reluctant to part with Clarkson too, sources said.
The Lakers are eager to make a deal for Cousins before Thursday night's draft, but if no agreement is in place, Los Angeles will continue to decide between Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell, sources said.
Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive has been unwilling to discuss a deal to send Cousins to Denver, where Sacramento's former coach, Michael Malone, and former general manager, Pete D'Alessandro, have been recently hired, sources said. Denver has had interest in a three-way deal that would land Cousins with the Lakers and possibly deliver the Kings several players – including point guard Ty Lawson – who Karl has expressed a desire to be reunited with in Sacramento, sources said.
More NBA draft coverage: