The Los Angeles Lakers are "actively pursuing" Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in a trade, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. The Kings have so far refused to make Cousins available in a trade, but the Lakers are still trying exploring their options. Silver Screen and Roll's Drew Garrison outlined how the Lakers have the assets to pursue a trade for Cousins a few weeks ago, and the Lakers are now testing those waters..
Cousins averaged 24.1 points and 12.7 rebounds with a PER of 25.2 for the Kings in the 2014-15 season. Sacramento got out to a hot start under head coach Mike Malone, but Malone was canned after the Kings' record slipped while Cousins was hospitalized with viral meningitis. The Kings replaced Malone with interim coach Tyrone Corbin, who was ultimately again replaced in season when George Karl. All of this organizational turmoil led to reports of Cousins displeasure with the Kings organization, which could be why the Lakers are circling back and seeing what it would take to acquire the Kentucky product.
A trade for Cousins could require the majority of the Lakers' trade assets, signaling a slight change in direction for Mitch Kupchak, who has previously indicated he will take his time to rebuild the franchise. But Cousins talent and affordable contract might ultimately be worth the price if his talent was able to attract a few free agents into the Lakers' copious cap room in 2016. Los Angeles has also engaged in talks with the Orlando Magic to create a three-team trade, according to Stein:
Sources say that the Lakers, Kings and Orlando Magic have had exploratory dialogue on a three-way Cousins trade that would land the 24-year-old in Los Angeles. All three teams hold top-six picks in Thursday's NBA draft, and Orlando has a young top-flight center of its own in Nikola Vucevic, who could theoretically fill the Cousins void.
Yet since assuming control of the Kings' front office in April, Divac repeatedly has downplayed the idea of parting with Cousins, who has three seasons left on an extension he signed during the summer of 2013.
It's unclear what assortment of assets would be on the move, but there's plenty of pieces that could be on the table for each team.