Trade season is beginning to heat up in the NBA as the first deal was recently completed when the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired sharpshooter Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks. Now that things are picking up around the league, the annual rumors surrounding Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins have picked up as well.
Rumors have been surrounding Cousins for years now, but the team still has yet to part ways with him and now it looks as if he could be in Sacramento even longer.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Kings plan on offering Cousins a new contract extension that could be worth more than $200 million:
“But sources also say that the Kings, at season’s end, want to pitch Cousins on a long-term partnership in the summertime, knowing he’s going to be eligible in July for a Designated Player Extension that could make him one of a handful of $200 million players league wide.”
That ‘Designated Player Extension’ is a provision in the new CBA that was recently agreed upon. It gives incumbent teams even more of an advantage to keep their star players and the difference in money by taking the extension as opposed to waiting until free agency is stark.
Stein added that as long as the Kings believe they can make the playoffs (currently ninth in the Western Conference) they would be extremely reluctant to part with their star center and it would take a huge offer to make them re-think their plans. For the Los Angeles Lakers, that would mean likely giving up two of the D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram trio which the team is unlikely to do.
In fact, the Lakers are unlikely to make any moves before the trade deadline according to General Manager Mitch Kupchak so anyone with hopes of seeing Cousins in purple and gold might want to lower their expectations.