Report: Cousins’ agent was given go-ahead to pursue trade

Sacramento Kings ownership reportedly gave permission to the DeMarcus Cousins camp to pursue a trade for the big man.

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The seemingly never-ending soap opera that is the Sacramento Kings took another turn Thursday night, when the team did not trade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package that reportedly included the second overall pick in the draft.

Prior to the draft kicking off on Thursday, reports surfaced that Kings head coach George Karl was pushing for the team to trade Cousins. And just a couple hours before the Minnesota Timberwolves made Karl-Anthony Towns the first pick in the draft, another report surfaced that Karl’s relationship with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive had grown strained.

Now, after all the dust has settled, the Kings are right back where they started. Karl and Cousins both remain on the team. Ranadive remains against trading the big man. Meanwhile, Kings vice president Vlade Divac is indicating that he won’t be bullied into a trade.

Adding to the turmoil in California’s capital city, USA Today’s Sam Amick is reporting that Ranadive gave Cousins’ agent, Dan Fegan, permission to seek a trade to the Lakers in the lead-up to the draft:

“When Fegan tried to orchestrate a trade that would send Cousins to the Los Angeles Lakers in the days leading up to the draft — one that Kings owner Vivek Ranadive gave him permission to pursue when he made it clear that Cousins wanted out — it wouldn’t have shocked anyone if Divac decided to do the deal just to quiet this storm. Instead, he’s trying to fix a fractured situation on his terms.”

The last part of this report is interesting. Divac, who is in his first front office role in the NBA, is attempting to fix a situation that just doesn’t seem sustainable moving forward.

While the draft has wrapped and teams are now focusing on free agency, it doesn’t mean Cousins will be returning to the Kings. By virtue of the Lakers selecting Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell with the second pick on Thursday night, a potential framework for a deal is still in place. That would potentially include Russell, Julius Randle and other moving parts heading to Sacramento. Remember, last year’s No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins, wasn’t traded from Cleveland to Minnesota until well after the draft had concluded.

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At the very least, Sacramento’s owner admitted to a potential trade by giving Cousins’ agent permission to pursue a deal with the Lakers. That shouldn’t be lost in all this.

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