The Los Angeles Lakers are no longer looking to trade for Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak. "The No. 2 pick has never been seriously in play... Earlier on, we knew there would be at least three players that, if you had the No. 2 pick, we would be very comfortable or even ecstatic about selecting," Kupchak told media after the Lakers' selection of D'Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft was official.
The Lakers discussed trade scenarios that would have put Cousins in purple and gold throughout the week, but ultimately decided against trading for the established talent of the 2015 All-Star who averaged 24.1 points and 12.7 rebounds per game with a 25.2 Player Efficiency Rating, and instead opted for building around a more youthful core, according to a report from Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
"The Lakers had discussions this week with the Kings about acquiring their 24-year-old All-Star center amid a Yahoo! Sports report indicating Sacramento coach George Karl campaigned for the franchise to trade him. That did not happen. The Kings wanted assets that included the Lakers' No. 2 pick, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, perhaps even more. The Lakers declined to trade away such youthful parts, mindful they could help the team's long-term rebuilding project."
From Medina's report, it sounds like the Lakers have committed to their youth movement and promising young core rather than looking to swing big and mortgage the franchise's future for any quick fixes.
The Lakers have already proven they are Woj-bomb proof, so it should not surprise anyone that most of the leaked rumors about a Cousins trade came from elsewhere, in this case from power agent Dan Fegan, who according to Sam Amick of the USA Today was given permission to pursue trade scenarios involving Cousins:
"...Fegan tried to orchestrate a trade that would send Cousins to the Los Angeles Lakers in the days leading up to the draft - one that Kings owner Vivek Ranadive gave him permission to pursue when he made it clear that Cousins wanted out..."
Clearly Fegan was unsuccessful in brokering a deal that would have put his client in Los Angeles, and with the Lakers raving about the "unlimited upside" of the magical passing Russell, it sounds like trade talks are dead in the water.
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