Saturday, May 2, 2015

Is DeMarcus Cousins on Ainge's Radar?

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The Boston Celtics are looking to make headlines this offseason after a surprise playoff push that led to finishing with the Eastern Conference's seventh best record at 40-42. What better way to turn some heads than going after big man DeMarcus Cousins?

According to ESPN's Marc Stein who reported on Friday that the Sacramento Kings center is among the many trade targets as Danny Ainge looks to add some more talent to his roster this summer.

"Will the Celtics open their war chest of future draft picks to try to pry DeMarcus Cousins away from the Sacramento Kings via trade?" Stein wrote. "The early word out there is: Bank on it. Will they be in the mix for pretty much any name player who expectedly comes available in coming months? Bank on that, too." [ESPN]

The Celtics president of basketball operations will try any-way and every-way to land an all-star, but he knows it won't be an easy thing regardless of the assets such as cap space and draft picks.

"Free agency is hard," Ainge said. "I think it's unlikely but possible. So we're going to go after anybody and everybody that we think is a significant player to upgrade our talent roster. And when I say upgrade our talent, you've got to be pretty good to upgrade our talent, because we have good players. We're going after all the top manes on the list, and we'll see what happens." [NESN]

Cousins, 24, is one of the league's top young centers and is coming off a career year averaging 24.1 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. He is under contract through the 2017-18 season at roughly $47.3 million. Current Kings head coach; George Karl has described the relationship with his vet as a 'work in progress.'

Sacramento finished this season 29-53 after getting off to the best start (9-6) in nearly 10-years before coach Michael Malone was fired in early December.

It went all down hill attitude wise for Cousins, who's known for his temper, racking up 14 technical fouls, third most in the league behind Markieff Morris (15) and MVP candidate; Russell Westbrook (17).

Former Kings teammate and newest Celtic; Isaiah Thomas sent out a tweet to Cousins on Friday afternoon. You can take it for whatever its' worth (even if it seems like it's all about a jersey), but it's ironic that this would come out the same day as a report of these two possibly playing in the same city again.


Ainge knows his next all-star will easily come to Boston via trade rather than free agency. Despite the Celtics' first playoff appearance in two-years, not much stock can be put into the free-agent market which historically has not gone in the C's favor over the years.

"I don't think any of us can predict that," he said. "I think that's good talk-radio stuff, but I think ultimately, every player is different. Some players look at the Celtics' organization and tradition and think it's something special; some don't. Some prefer hot weather to cold weather. But most players prefer good contracts and good opportunities to play, and hopefully to win - in that order first, in most places.

"We have to prove to people that we have the opportunities for them to be paid, to play, to reach their full potential and to win. And I think that Boston would be a good destination for some." [NESN]

Weather it's Cousins or another possible target, Ainge has kept tight-lip about his wish list of players he will go after in the next few months. It is also no secret though that Kevin Love is also a main focus come July.

Happy hunting Danny.

Joel Pavón
Follow us on Twitter:@CausewayStreet

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