With NBA Training camp ready to kick off week the NBA Trade Rumors mill is still in overdrive. The latest has the Los Angeles Lakers looking to acquire DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings in a deal that would involve several other players.
On the outside looking in this will be a dream for the Lakers as they will get what is possibly a top 10 talent in Cousins. But there is risk involved that the Lakers should stay away from. The first is the money. Cousins is set to make $16M this season and the Lakers have already committed to paying Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov $34M combined. Why add more to your plate for a position that is already occupied by cheaper players?
For this deal to go thru, the Lakers will be handing over one of the up and coming talents in the NBA, Julius Randle. For Lakers fans, that should be a no-no. While Cousins is good, he brings much baggage. In all fairness, most of it has to do with the constant losing he has endured with the Kings but will L.A. be willing to take that risk?
The Lakers have a young core and should try to avoid any distractions, on or off the court. Last season they had to deal with the circus that surrounded Kobe’s retirement, add in the divided locker room in which HC, Byron Scott forced then you had the infamous video with D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young. There is no need to add Cousins to this list right after the team has dealt with those.
The Lakers have a chance to build something great here like the old days when teams built from the draft and let their players blossom. Cousins will be a free agent in 2018, maybe if the Lakers are still in the market they will go after him then. But to blow up your team for the unknown is not a smart move.
The Lakers are one of the few teams in the NBA that are roster heavy. They have backups that can produce and the trade with the Kings and Nuggets will strip them of that, cost them a few extra million in cap space, and still, they will have to part with a draft pick. The headlines on the outside read great, but the fine print inside will spell disaster for the Lakers.