Longtime object of Pistons’ fans affections DeMarcus Cousins has asked to be traded. Here’s part of Kings coach Paul Westphal’s statement, via Inside Hoops:
DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight.
The Pistons were rumored to be heavily interested in Cousins before the 2010 draft and reportedly tried to move up and pick him. Cousins also reportedly was interested in playing for the Pistons. Instead, Sacramento kept the pick and the Pistons still got a nice consolation prize in Greg Monroe.
I believe with the #Pistons are monitoring the DeMarcus Cousins situation very closely…
The #Pistons kept close tabs on Cousins last year and no, they aren’t scared off by his so-called “issues”…
Alright … excited yet? The problem, of course, is the Pistons don’t have much to offer the Kings. Monroe and Brandon Knight are probably off limits. Jonas Jerebko, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey can’t be included in trades until March after signing new contracts. That leaves next year’s first round pick (which looks virtually assured of being in the lottery based on the team’s play so far) as the team’s best bargaining chip. Perhaps the Kings would consider a package based on that pick, Austin Daye and Will Bynum (his contract expires after the season). I would guess the Pistons would have to include future picks as well since that package is pretty underwhelming, especially if they end up picking near the bottom of the lottery in 2012. The Kings are under the cap, so theoretically they could take back more salary than they send out in a trade, but it’s unlikely they’d want any of the Pistons’ long-term contracts considering how bad those players have played and Sacramento’s current financial state (they’re broke).
Cousins has had trouble keeping his emotions in check in college and as a pro, but as Goodwill points out, that doesn’t seem to be a concern of the Pistons. The reports before the 2010 draft suggested the Pistons, if they landed Cousins, planned to give him a heavy dose of Ben Wallace tutelage and luckily, Wallace (as well as well regarded big man coach Roy Rogers) is still around to provide a stable environment.
So are the Pistons a trade match if the Kings really do move their disgruntled by talented young big man? Probably not, but let the speculation begin. Run wild in the comments imagining a Monroe-Cousins-Jerebko frontcourt.
Update: Via Sheridan Hoops, Cousins’ agent says he hasn’t asked to be traded. NBA players who make public trade demands are subject to fines, so it’s no surprise his agent is denying. But this is a strange story. Cousins has never seemed particularly happy in Sacramento and he and Westphal have never seemed to get along that well, although I admittedly don’t follow a ton of Kings hoops. With as bad as the Kings have been under Westphal, I wonder if the organization would consider a coaching change rather than a player change in this instance? A coach sending out a statement saying a player has demanded a trade isn’t a normal step to take. That usually stays in house and I’m curious as to what compelled Westphal to do that.