It's not secret that the Boston Celtics are weak at the center position. It's also no secret that DeMarcus Cousins, one of the league's up-and-coming centers, is not happy in his current environment with the Sacramento Kings.
Put two and two together, and you have the birth of the NBA's newest rumor.
Of course, there are other teams that need bigs and are interested in Cousins. More likely than not, most of those teams could put together better packages to entice the Kings into trading Cousins to the. Nevertheless, the Celtics are interested.
Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald wrote on Tuesday that the Celtics have called about Cousins' availability, but as Murphy points out, so has everybody else. At the moment, it appears unlikely that the Celtics could land the future star big man.
"It's highly unlikely," a league source said of the Celtics' chances of landing Cousins. "I'm not sure that any team is going to get him. The thing is that everyone knows he's a wreck. They're not going to get what he's worth."
A wreck? Mentally, perhaps. But then again, wouldn't you be a "wreck" if you were under contract with the Kings for the next four years. From a talent perspective, Cousins is far from a wreck. In fact, he could be the answer the C's are looking for. In just over one season, Cousins is averaging 14.1 points and 8.8 rebounds to go along with 1.1 blocks.
Cousins certainly isn't Dwight Howard, but he would be an excellent compliment to an aging Celtics roster in need of a legitimate presence inside. Cousins would offer more talent and consistency than Jermaine O'Neal, who is in the final year of his contract and coming off an injury-ridden year, at least at this stage of their respective careers.
The area of concern with Cousins is his mental stability. You've seen it yourself -- when the going gets rough, he gets upset in a hurry. The issue between Cousins and Westphal reportedly stemmed from a disagreement on the sideline, during which teammates reportedly heard Cousins yell at Westphal that he wanted to be traded.
Why? Not exactly sure. It's not like the Kings are a bottom-dwelling franchise or anything of the sort. Oh, wait, they are. Sacramento is off to a 2-3 start and is coming off a season in which it went 24-58, finished fifth in the Western Conference Pacific Division and placed 14th overall in the conference. Not exactly like the Kings of the early 2000s.
Still, it is troubling any time a player has a public outburst in this manner. It's only fair to ask whether or not it could or would happen again. The answer? It very well could, and that's the risk you run with bringing a hot-headed athlete it.
However, the Celtics aren't you ordinary run-of-the-mill team. There are really only two players you would describe as hot heads, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo, and they are not problems at all on the court. Quite the opposite, actually.
Then, there's Doc Rivers. Rivers has been around long enough that he's had his fair share of run-ins with players he's coached, like Paul Pierce and Rondo to name a few. Yet he's gotten through them just fine, and the same would likely be true if the Celtics were to add Cousins.
Sure, there would be situations where Cousins and Rivers might but heads. But that's naturally going to happen in sports. Also, Cousins would be in a much better environment and playing with a contending team with three future Hall of Famers (possibly four). It's likely that Cousins would cooperate if traded to the Celtics, at least at the beginning.
All of this is speculative, of course. Going back to the league source of Mark Murphy's, it's a slim chance that the Celtics could get him. Still, it's a chance nonetheless.
What would Boston have to give up to get Cousins? Jermaine O'Neal and his expiring contract would likely be traded, as would prospects such as Avery Bradley, E'Twaun Moore or JaJuan Johnson. Some draft picks would probably have to been thrown into the mix as well.
Enticing for Sacramento? In reality, not really. Of the players mentioned on the Celtics end, none will pan out to be what Cousins already is or could be. In any trade, they would be taking a loss. Danny Ainge would have to hope that the Kings see something in his package of players/picks that they don't elsewhere.
While I am not in favor of players, especially young ones, being able to talk themselves out of a situation, one has to recognize that this is the reality of the NBA today. If you don't embrace it, you're probably going to lose out. That being the case, it's very possible that Cousins could be traded in the near future. If I'm Ainge, I make sure he lands in Boston.
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