With the regular season over and the playoffs in full swing, NBA trade rumors have been few and far between. The trade deadline passed months ago, and the best teams are still playing, so the majority of the league's most desirable players are currently occupied in the postseason.
One big name that didn't make the playoffs, however, is Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings battled dysfunction and a less talented roster than their peers with postseason aspirations for the majority of the season before ultimately resting their players down the stretch in a fairly transparent effort to retain their first round draft pick.
Cousins was by far the best player on Sacramento once again, averaging 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds, but it seems the team's inability to make the playoffs for any of the six season he's played in the NBA in combination with his reported attitude issues have made the Kings "willing to test the market for the two-time All-Star," according to Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
Before Lakers fans start photoshopping him into a Lakers jersey, just because the Kings are willing to look at Cousin's market value does not mean they are necessarily willing to just give him away. The two teams had much rumored trade talks centered around Cousins last summer before they ultimately broke off in large part due to the Lakers' unwillingness to part with all of their young assets.
Los Angeles now has a stable of young talent including Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, and Larry Nance, Jr., as well as a possible top-three pick on the way. How many of those pieces would general manager Mitch Kupchak and Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss be willing to part with in exchange for the Kings' two-time All-Star? With Buss set to step down at the end of the season without an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, fans will have to hope it's not most or all of those pieces being shipped out in a desperate move to acquire Cousins.
Other teams can likely top the Lakers' offer, but with other organizations like the Boston Celtics tied up with their pursuit of Kevin Durant, Los Angeles may be able to sneak in a good offer if the Kings are itching to move Cousins. But they shouldn't part with all of their young talent, because Cousins has shown he alone isn't enough to get a team to the playoffs, and given that there are no indications Sacramento is even desperate to move the best player on their team, trade talks will likely remain quiet for at least a little while longer.