The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings remain engaged in trade discussions centered around DeMarcus Cousins. The sides exchanged the framework of a deal on Wednesday and talks are expected to "intensify" leading into the NBA Draft on Thursday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Sacramento officials have repeatedly denied that Cousins is available, but Wojnarowski is the second report pointing to the Kings still entertaining trade 'scenarios. The Lakers are determined to acquire DeMarcus, while the Kings are privately softening on their stance on keeping the big man. Still, Vlade Divac's asking price for Cousins has been extremely high, seeking out the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and additional draft assets, according to Wojnarowski. The Kings would look to dump the remaining $13.5 million on Carl Landry's contract as well.
The Lakers, meanwhile seem reluctant to put all of their assets into one basket. Julius Randle's name has been floated by the Kings, but Los Angeles has "no intention" of moving the seventh-overall pick from the 2014 draft. Here's what Wojnarowski had to say about the stance from both teams thus far:
Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac has pursued a possible deal that would include a bevvy of assets, including the Lakers' No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson and other draft assets, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Sacramento also would want to unload the remainder of forward Carl Landry's two years, $13.5 million contract, league sources said.
Minimally, the Lakers have no intention of including Randle in a deal for Cousins, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Randle, a power forward, was the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft and missed most of his rookie season after leg surgery. The Lakers are reluctant to part with Clarkson too, sources said.
The Lakers are eager to make a deal for Cousins before Thursday night's draft, but if no agreement is in place, Los Angeles will continue to decide between Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell, sources said.
Rumors are only going to heat up between now and the draft, but it's unclear what kind of compromise either the Lakers or Kings will come to if this mega-trade happens. A third team could also be an option to help facilitate the balance of assets in a trade with huge implications.
Expect to hear more rumblings on DeMarcus Cousins as the final hours between now and the draft tick away. It's shaping up to be a wild ride.