Vlade Divac Makes It Clear: DeMarcus Cousins Not Available
Amid speculation, Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac has made a strong statement regarding the availability of the team’s star DeMarcus Cousins ahead of this year’s trade deadline.
A fixture in the trade rumor mill, Cousins’ name has continued to be bandied about as we approach this year’s trade deadline, which is nearly two weeks away.
While it hasn’t become the circus like it has for the Kings in prior years, rumors regarding Cousins have picked up steam recently, leading some to wonder if the team’s front office and ownership have finally changed their tune in entertaining a move involving the now three-time All-Star.
But now, any further speculation has been squashed, thanks to comments made by Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac.
Via Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Divac has explicitly put to bed any potential move involving Cousins ahead of the deadline this season:
Amid recent reports that the Kings had engaged the Phoenix Suns in talks involving Cousins, as well as suggestions that some in the organization were advocating a trade, Divac insisted by phone that any such speculation was untrue.
“We’re not trading DeMarcus,” Divac told ESPN. “We hope he’s here for a long time.”
According to sources close to Stein, Divac met with Cousins personally to assure the star and his representation that he would not be involved in a potential move over the course of the next two weeks.
That obviously has a clear effect on the Kings at the moment as they try to keep up with the teams that rank ahead of them that stand outside of the top half of the West (the Kings are 3.5 games out of eighth place).
ESPN reported in early January that the Kings already have begun planning to offer Cousins one of the league’s new maximum Designated Player contract extensions — estimated to be in the $219 million range over five seasons — once the league’s new collective bargaining agreement takes effect in July
“Asked by ESPN on Monday about their intentions, Divac said: “We are going in that direction.”
Divac commenting on such a matter, especially at this point in the season, is quite an indication of what is set to occur this summer.
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How that unfolds remains to be seen, but how both the Kings and Cousins potentially remain united in making it work together affects his value around the league will be a curious thing to follow over the next several months.
At this point, imagining a world without question marks over Cousins’ future with the Kings seems like a pipe dream, given the team’s performance in the years before and after his arrival.
On top of that, not only is Cousins playing the best basketball of his career, but he’s only just entered his prime as well.
Thus, getting a trade package that has significant value for both the present and the long-term future is something that very few, if any, teams can reasonably offer the Kings.
That all could be moot, especially if something significant were to happen this summer for Cousins and the Kings regarding a future contract.
Nevertheless, Divac has made it clear that Cousins is to stay in Sacramento for the time being, putting out any smoke that was growing before the deadline in the process.