Should the Celtics pursue a trade for DeMarcus Cousins?
Rumors have been out there for a while that the Celtics might be interested in a trade for the King’s star center, DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins has been with Sacramento his entire career, but has never been to the playoffs. He has, however, put together a great NBA career to this point. Career averages of 19.2 PPG and 10.6 RPG are enough to make him one of the best centers in the NBA. Over the past three years, Cousins has exceeded those numbers with over 22 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Celtics have been stockpiling draft picks for a few seasons now and appear to be in great shape if a trade for a star was to happen. The question is, however, should the team pursue a trade for the star center? There are a few main factors to consider when looking at making a trade for a star player: “Does the team wanting the player have the assets to get a deal done?”, “How will the player fit with the new team?”, and “How likely is the team with the star player to consider trading him?”.
The trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to Brooklyn in 2013 has continued to be a heist for Boston. The team received unprotected draft picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018, with the right to swap in 2017, as well as players that are no longer on the team. Brooklyn looks to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season with the 3rd worst record in the league. I bring this up because of the assets that the Celtics received in that trade and how that might help them in a trade for Cousins. The team also has a protected first rounder from Dallas and Memphis in the next few years that they can try to use to pry Cousins out of Sacramento. The Celtics also have young talent that might appeal to the Kings. Marcus Smart, James Young, Kelly Olynyk, and Jared Sullinger are only a few of the players who the Celtics could use to make a trade happen. The Celtics definitely have enough assets to make a trade happen, however, the team should also consider how he will fit into the team.
Cousins has been one of the best centers in the NBA over the past three years and the Celtics are a team in need of a star to vault them back to the top of the conference. In the Eastern Conference, a DeMarcus Cousins led team would probably do quite well as oppose to playing in the very stacked Western Conference. Cousins would give the Celtics a go to scorer, which is something the team needs. Acquiring Cousins would also help the team long term. The trade would contrast the ones made in 2007 when the team paired veteran Paul Pierce with veterans Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Cousins is only 25 years old and making 14.7 million this season, followed by 15.7 and 16.7 in the next couple years. The way that the NBA salaries are headed Cousins will be very affordable until he hits free agency in 2018. In my opinion, the fit would be great, as Cousins is exactly the type of player the team should be looking to acquire.
The availability of Cousins has been an interesting topic for some time now. There have been rumors that he is available and then also some that state that he is not. The Kings have been going nowhere for years now, and might have a chance to get a ton back in a trade to help themselves rebuild, so the team should be at least considering trade offers.
The Celtics are having a successful season, but without a true star on the roster, they are most likely a team that will contend for a division title and not much more. Acquiring a player like Cousins would make them much more relevant and may put them in a position to contend in the Eastern Conference for years to come.
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Colby Gatz covers the Boston Celtics for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15