After the Celtics decided to let go of Kris Joseph and Jarvis Varnado yesterday afternoon, giving themselves three open spots on the roster, reports once again circulated of a “blockbuster” trade being back in play for Boston. Naturally, the name that kept popping up in some of these reports was none other than DeMarcus Cousins, a target that would be appealing to almost any NBA franchise at this juncture, if he were in fact, available. Former Kings beat reporter and now USA Today reporter Sam Amick quickly put to bed any rumors of a deal with this tweet.
DeMarcus Cousins is not going to the Celtics. Teams continue to be told that he’s not available. That is all.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 7, 2013
Make no mistake about this declaration, in knowing Amick personally he’s far and away one of the most well-connected NBA reporters out there. He had the C’s Jeff Green deal before everyone else this summer, and he knows the Sacramento front office inside-out from his reporting days there with the Sacramento Bee. There are very few reporters out there who can make declarations like this that are iron-clad and believe them during trade season. Amick is one of those guys.
The fact of the matter is, the Celtics and Kings don’t have any incentive to make a deal anyway at the moment. Boston has slowly started to turn the corner in the past two games with two impressive wins while evaluating a nearly-healthy roster for the first time all season. Trading anyone in the rotation in this group without giving them a fair shake in their preordained role with a healthy Avery Bradley back isn’t smart business.
Make no mistake, Doc Rivers values continuity so if the C’s current roster comes together in the next month and Boston can add a free agent semi-useful veteran big via buyout, as opposed to giving up assets in a trade and having to incorporate 2-3 new players over the final few months of the season, that will likely be a preferred option.
As I wrote about yesterday though, the play now for Danny Ainge is simply to watch and wait. Keep the team’s roster flexibility open, filling the gaps in the interim with some 10-day contracts. The Kings, who have won four of six themselves, are playing well so they have no incentive to deal right now anyway with Cousins averaging 19-and-11 over the past ten games.
Could Cousins eventually come available? Sure. Will the C’s be looking to make a blockbuster deal? Maybe. If they do though, you can bet it will come sometime closer to the trade deadline after these current C’s have been given one final month to mesh.