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Stein: Celtics “Highly Interested” In DeMarcus Cousins

 

The Celtics are in on DeMarcus Cousins according to Marc Stein:

Front-office sources say that Boston and Detroit, just to name two teams, have let it be known that they are highly interested if and when Cousins does become available. Rest assured there will be more.

After serving a one-game “indefinite” suspension and then sitting out a second game once reinstated, Cousins returned to the Kings’ lineup last night in their 106-105 victory over the Knicks and put up 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

On the season, Cousins is averaging 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and sports a 19.01 PER despite a 41% shooting percentage, an abominable number for a 6’11″ 270 pound center. A major part of that deficiency is his tendency to drift from the basket and take face-up jumpers.

Cousins is no charm school graduate but it’s unclear whether the Kings are willing to move him. He’s only 22-years-old and one of the few guys in the league who projects as a dominant center. It does appear that Cousins may want out of a toxic situation in Sacramento, having recently hired Dan Fegan as his agent. Fegan has clashed with Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie before and faces increasing pressure to turn the Kings around. Stein:

There’s a growing sense among potential suitors that under-fire Kings general manager Geoff Petrie, who has overseen zero trips to the playoffs under five coaches in the six-plus seasons since Rick Adelman left town, would be willing to move Cousins, preferably in exchange for a dependable veteran of quality or two who could bring some instant improvement to a franchise stuck in lottery land and still plagued by an uncertain future in terms of where this team will be calling home in the long term.

As to the match with the Celtics? Boston can offer “dependable veterans of quality” Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, and Courtney Lee although a package might have to include Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger or D-League monster Fab Melo. Some combination of those six guys might get the deal done, particularly if the Celtics are willing to absorb a bad Sacramento contract.

  • The Cardinal

    I'd do it in a heartbeat, but if I had my druthers, I'd shoot for Al Jefferson first.

  • jaymsd23

    Jefferson is too high usage/low output. I like the potential of Cousins, KG would straighten him out. If we can keep Bradley and Sully (and Rondo, Pierce and KG, obviously) I'd trade pretty much anyone else for him. Not interested in Reke though, we have enough combo guards/wings.

    • The Cardinal

      Don't know about that, but with Jefferson, we become instant contenders while with Cousins – hmmm maybe this year, but more likely in future years. Don't get me wrong though – other than our core three (and unlike the majority of those who post here), I would be willing to include Bradley and Sullinger in any deal to get either one. However, while Sacramento might have an interest in Sully, Utah wouldn't. As for Bradley – usually you have to give up talent to get talent and we need a talented big man more than we need a talented guard who is part of a talented foursome of guards.

      A the moment (and that's assuming all were healthy), Howard, Bynum and Bogut are the only three centers that are clearly better than Al (although there are probably two or three others who are arguably as good).

      • jaymsd23

        I've seen enough of Jefferson to be conviced that he just puts up empty stats. David Lee in NY esque. His teams never go anywhere, and when things get tough in Utah it always seems like other plays take over and he takes a back seat. He's a 4/5 at best too, not an outright center like DMC. I'd much rather take a bet on DMC than marginally improve with Jefferson. He's going to inherit a Brandon Bass sized role, so I'd rather go with the guy with more potential defensively and athletically than with a decent post game but no real time to use it.

  • Jay

    no good if we have to give up AB , Green , or Sully. too high risk for my liking, tremendous up side though

    • Zee

      Why keep Green? He has shown no promise of high and consistent output. James Harden is outshining him. He went right to Houston and started producing big numbers. Green was a starter for OKC. He should be outdoing Harden, who came off the bench in OKC. Let him ride.

      I do say we keep AB and Sully though.

      • dslack

        There's a reason Presti was willing to part with Green but not with Harden.

  • jaymsd23

    I'm happy to give up Green, I don't dislike him but he clearly has a big downside and I think he's never going to be the player we want, Sully and AB need to stay though.

  • Sophomore

    Forty-one percent FG% (43.5% career) is a big concern. This is not what you get from a "dominant" center, or even a good one, and Cousins is already in his third year in the league. For comparison, KG – who doesn't spend a whole lot of time in the post anymore – is shooting it at 52% this year, 50% for his career. Big Al? 50% for his career. Why is everybody so sure this kid has the potential to dominate?

    • Phil

      People say he has the potential to dominate because he's already putting up borderline dominant numbers as a twenty-two year old on a team with no rhyme or reason or structure. The shooting percentage is bad, but everything else is good.

      I'd argue the more concerning thing is his defense, but again, we're talking about a young big with maturity issues in the absolute worst place to foster maturity. You have to assume you can fix some of his problems if you trade for him. I would think KG and Doc can do that for sure.

      • Sophomore

        That's a good upside argument for DMC. Also, he gets to the line a lot, which takes some of the sting out of that bad shooting percentage. But even so, during Big Al's first few years in the league, he was a youngster on a team with no rhyme or reason or structure. (Remember those Cs teams? Shudder.) KG's first few Minnie teams came in right around .500 and weren't exactly burning up the league.

        The question isn't whether DMC is a rotation player, it's whether he's a top-level scoring talent. Could be he's being held down by circumstances, but guys who can really score usually find a way, even on bad teams.

  • Phil

    There's definitely an optimistic twinge to this piece that I didn't expect to see. I still don't expect the Kings to trade him at the low point of his value, but we're not exactly talking about the best run franchise here. Them wanting stable veterans is perhaps the best possible news for Celtic fans.

    I'm going to assume they've watched Jeff Green, so they don't want him, but would something like Lee, Bass, a 1st and Fab really get it done if the Cs take back something like Garcia's contract? I would do that in a heartbeat. You're getting a potential difference making center for now and the future, and giving up very little off your current team.

    I wouldn't include the savior obviously; Cousins has been too bad on the defensive end this year and in his career. The Cs need a top 5 defense to have a chance, and that doesn't happen with Cousins and without Bradley. Everyone else on that list seems extremely tradeable. I'd be most hesitant to give up Sullinger next, but potentially elite big guys don't come along that often. You add him if absolutely necessary.

  • Phil

    Also, I'd be interested to know if the Kings want to get out of the Chuck Hayes contract at all. It's similar money value to the Garcia one, but runs an extra year. The difference is that he's their KG when it comes to defensive lineups; they're 10 points worse defensively without him on the court, so he's a useful member of their team. He still scores 3 points and 4 rebounds a game for a team with bankrupt owners, so they can't be too high on him right?

    I'd much rather take back his contract than Garcia's. He could save a lot of banging for KG, and he's an upgrade both offensively and defensively over Collins. I'd love any trade that brings him and Cousins in that doesn't involve our savior.

    Of course, if they insist on unloading Salmons, then you're in a pickle. He makes more money for less production than Jeff Green (although his deal is only 3 more years.) That may be the Celtics trump card though; would Detroit be willing to take on something like that right after getting rid of a first to get out of Ben Gordon's contract?

  • Kafel

    Trade for DMC would be great but also cost big. How about trade for Kanter or Favors from Utah ?

    • MJohnnyboy

      The Jazz are going to lose Jefferson and/or Millsap this summer. I highly doubt they'll give up one of those guys.

  • tbunny

    He seems like the kind of player you'd want, but do the Celtics really need two borderline head cases on their starting 5?

  • elroz

    No way I'd give up Avery Bradley.

    Wilcox, Barbosa, 2013 pick, and Melo… maybe even Bass, but that's the limit. It would be foolish to get rid of Avery – he is important.

    I'm no fan of Jeff Green – but the team has no other back up at SF for Pierce. Why would anybody mention Green – who will play behind Pierce?

    • Tos

      You're one of those people who wants something for nothing, aren't you?

      • The Cardinal

        Bravo…couldn't have said it better!

  • Jim

    All of you are not thinking about the head case Demarcus Cousins is and will continue to be. If you think it is all about talent how about all the talented guys who were drafted with high picks and did not work out. There is a reason he fell in the draft, a reason why their last coach was let go and why Sacramento would be willing to let him go. The first time he talked back to Garnett it would be over .The guy is a big, big cancer. If the Celtics make this trade it will be a huge mistake.

    • Tos

      It's a high risk high reward move. The thinking would have to be that Doc could help him grow and mature, but the big draw back is we already have a high risk high reward immature player in Rondo. If the two of them got along then this could really work out great, but if they didn't… I think we'd be brawling our own team not the refs or opponents…

      Definition of high risk high reward.

      With all of that said, I would do it for any of the above named players because I think DMC has the highest ceiling of any reasonable comobnation of those players.

      • Phil

        Is it weird that I think Doc and Cousins have a bigger chance to clash than Rondo and Cousins?

        Rondo clashed with Ray, but I think that was more of a case of Ray being unhappy with his place on the team, and taking that out on the person in charge of the offense. Cousins' place on the team wouldn't be much of a question; they need him to score. The argument against Rondo is that he's too eager to get others involved. He would feed Cousins all day. If there's any player confrontation, I would think it would be KG based off of defensive effort, which I believe is what he got in a fight and suspended for in Sac.

        As far as coaching though, getting Westphal fired is no big deal, but people respect Keith Smart, and there was a feeling there that everything was going well between the two. Cousins is in big need of coaching, but if he pushes back against Doc, what happens? Doc's just about the best at handling players, but I don't think he's been outright challenged either; he commands respect through his actions, but what if someone doesn't respect that?

        For the record, I don't think any of these would be a problem. There's gotta be at least a year grace period from getting out of Sacramento, right?

  • http://boston.com Edward C.

    Get rid of Sully and Bass. Sully (fat boy) too slow on defensive rotations, can't produce his own shot, slow to rebound and too short to defend true bigs. Bass is a finese player that is too reliant on a clean, unchallenged jumper and too timid to get dirty in the paint. Throw Lee and a pick in the pot for good measure and be open to moving Green as well. Upgrade with DMC and supplement with a proven scorer veterans like Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon and/or Al Jefferson. Verajo should also be a consideration.

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