Well, NBA Draft night came and went, and DeMarcus Cousins was not traded.
The Los Angeles Lakers were rumored to be extremely interested in Cousins, but the Sacramento Kings simply couldn’t part with their franchise player – at least not yet.
“I think a lot of it is you’ve got two forces there,” CBSSports.com NBA writer Matt Moore said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The Lakers, when they get stars, they expect to not have to give up a lot. They’ve never really had to surrender big significant pieces. When they gave up Marc Gasol in the Pau Gasol trade, Marc Gasol was an unknown at that point and really wasn’t considered all that great of a prospect. That package was not good overall. Guys who aren’t in the league anymore were involved in that trade. So you look at that and you look at the Dwight Howard deal. All they gave up was Andrew Bynum, who had injury issues and attitude problems and is out of the league now. They’re used to really bleeding teams dry, and that was part of it. The Kings had their leverage compromised, and so the Lakers were trying to push them through. The Kings wisely realized (that they shouldn’t) deal from a position this compromised in terms of leverage. (They thought), ‘Let’s shut things down, we’ll come back later, we’ll get in better position, and if we have to make the deal later, we will.’”
So, what does this mean? It means that after a week of speculation and drama and according-to-sources reports, Cousins was not traded and George Karl was not fired.
“A lot of (this stuff) gets interpreted through people,” Moore said. “It gets interpreted through a source and then the source tells the reporter and the reporter writes the story. And so, (people) obviously (believe) what’s been reported, which was that Karl was trying to push (Cousins) out, that Karl was doing all these things and it was irreparable. The reality is – from having spoken with Karl in the past – is that Karl’s going to talk about a lot of things. He’s going to suggest things. At the end of the day, the owner is going to make the decision on who coaches and who plays. If you stick them both in a situation where both are unhappy, it’s a miserable situation for the team to be in. It’s unfortunate, but neither one has real power over it. Karl’s under contract, Cousins is under contract.
“What has to happen in the long run is if they’re going to solve this, both sides are going to have to say we need to start with a clean slate,” Moore continued. “We need to come in (and) start over. Do we want to be successful here? Yes. So let’s go ahead and start over and see if we can come to a conservative conclusion. If they can’t reach that point, then something’s going to have to give.”