The biggest news of All-Star weekend, even during the game itself, was the trade speculation suddenly swirling around now-former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins.
The saga eventually ended when Cousins was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans, but the Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly involved in the talks as well, with negotiations breaking down when they refused to include prized rookie Brandon Ingram.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical (who was unsurprisingly on top of the Cousins talks from start to finish) during an appearance on Sirius XM Radio, the Kings’ decision still came down to the packages being offered by the Pelicans and Lakers, with Sacramento’s management and ownership ultimately going with the Pelicans’ offer.
The implication from that report is that the Lakers still had an offer that was at least somewhat compelling to the Kings, even sans Ingram.
Who would have been involved? It’s impossible to say right now, but just speculating, it seems unlikely a logical team would have turned down an offer including any combo of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and/or Jordan Clarkson given what they ultimately got. Or really even if the crux of the offer was “just” Russell.
However, when Sacramento feels like this about Buddy Hield, maybe it’s not surprise they ultimately passed on whatever combo the Lakers were offering up:
Source familiar w/ Kings’ thinking: "Vivek thinks Buddy [Hield] has Steph Curry potential.” Am told that fixation was a key driver in deal.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) February 20, 2017
You, dear reader, have no idea how hard it was to not just type “lol” after embedding that tweet and then publish this post.
Honestly though, if the Kings think Buddy Hield “has Steph Curry potential,” then the Lakers might have struggled to get Cousins even if they HAD been willing to deal Ingram.
All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our latest episode on the Cousins trade below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.