Rumor: Bulls Interested In DeMarcus Cousins

Rumor: Bulls Interested In DeMarcus Cousins

If you hadn’t noticed already, today is December 15. For the majority of people, it’s just another Tuesday. For NBA fans, however, Christmas has come ten days earlier.

On this day every year, teams are granted the ability to include players who signed contracts in the preceding offseason in trades. With more players suddenly eligible to be moved, the market annually begins to heat up around this time, as do the crazed trade proposals, theories and rumors that circulate throughout social media.

Knowing this, as if on cue, has come to the party by dropping a rather timely nugget, stating that the Sacramento Kings are fielding calls of interest for star center, DeMarcus Cousins.

This isn’t overly surprising. It seems as if the routinely disgruntled Cousins is perpetually on the trade block, so why should this season be any different?

What is surprising, however, is one of the team’s gauging the Kings willingness to deal Cousins is none other than your Chicago Bulls. Here is the key excerpt from the article:

As for Chicago, the Bulls are loaded with expendable frontcourt talent. Joakim Noah’s $13.4 million expiring contract and Taj Gibson are available, along with a young asset or draft pick. With former first-round pick Bobby Portis stuck behind a crowded frontcourt, Chicago is looking to clear a path for him to play more, one source said.

Naturally, with the Bulls having a glaringly obvious roster imbalance that requires immediate attention this season, fans all over have embraced the idea of potentially landing a marquee talent like Cousins, who has still yet to reach his prime. Only earning $14.7 million in 2015-16 whilst putting up 25.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, Cousins provides incredible value, both in play and contract.

I would be lying if I said I had no interest in DeMarcus Cousins, but should we really be buying into this rumor?

It's refreshing to hear that the Bulls have interest, but do they really?

Notoriously reluctant to make trades for established players, are we really meant to believe that the organisation is prepared to do a back flip on their usual modus operandi, particularly for a player with perceived cultural issues like Boogie Cousins?

Further to this, have the Kings given any inclination that they’re prepared to move on from Cousins? The may not, but they appear to be listening.

Sacramento is listening, but the Kings are in a holding pattern and currently have no plans to make a deal despite sitting in 13th place in the 15-team Western Conference, the sources said.

Listening to a rival GM plead his case for a trade is one thing, being convinced that their offer is beneficial, is another.

In order for a trade to be approved between parties, Chicago will need to involve several pieces. Currently, they don’t have any enticing veterans playing well enough to command the attention of the Kings front office, nor do they have any younger pieces who would be viewed as potential building blocks.

Given this, the Bulls would need to compile an offer that includes a combination of; a veteran(s), a younger player(s), and several draft picks. An example deal could be; Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and two future first-round picks for Cousins.

In the above deal, the salaries match. The Kings would likely also need to send one or more low value pieces back to Chicago to balance the players outgoing within the transaction to ensure that no more than 15 players exist on each team’s roster.

Instead of delving into an endless amount of hypothetical deals, the more fascinating question in all these rumors is, even if Gar Forman can put his best offer forward, would it be enough to strike a deal?

We must also consider several other variables that could easily leave any offers from Chicago null and void.

Included in this rumor, are the Boston Celtics. Matching salaries would be simple for the Celtics, who could easily include David Lee’s expiring deal to pass CBA requirements. The Celtics offer could quickly become appealing to Divac & Co if Danny Ainge were to make available the Brooklyn Nets pick, an asset owed to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade.

As the Nets continue to struggle this season, there is a very real chance that their pick – which remains unprotected - materializes into a top-3 selection. This future asset as a central piece to a deal, has the ability to undermine any future first-round pick that the Bulls could potentially offer. Ainge is also armed with a plethora of additional first-round picks that he could use to sweeten the deal, not to mention recent draftees such as Marcus Smart.

Objectively, assuming the Kings would be looking to rebuild, Boston’s offer surpasses anything Chicago could possibly offer. Should Sacramento want more experienced, ready-made players, perhaps the Bulls could pose a better solution?

Of course, this all assumes the Kings would be willing to deal Cousins.

After a tumultuous start, Cousins and Karl appear to be getting along. Rajon Rondo, the Kings’ major free agent acquisition, has been more than willing to feed his big man all over the court, and in turn, has forged a strong partnership with his dominant center. More importantly, however, the Kings will be entering into a new arena next season. Moving into a new building with no star on the roster presents a real risk for Sacramento, one they may not be willing to take.

So, this rumor becomes much more than just player-for-player swaps. Its impact extends further than the simplistic on-court dynamics that fans theorize over constantly. The economics from all vantage points will considered, as they should.

Let’s see how this all transpires over the coming weeks, but don’t hold your breath on Boogie being a Bull.

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  • How long is Cousins locked into his contract?

    I would do the Taj, Mirotic, and McD plus 2 1st round picks if the Bulls would land Cousin for 3 years. Snell looked good the other night, throw him in as well.

    The Kings will not do it, however.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I should have stated that in the article. He's contracted this season, then 2 more seasons thereafter.

    It's effectively a 3 year / $47.3m deal.

  • There is no way that the Kings will trade Cousins, unless the offer includes a potential superstar. Maybe the Celtics have a shot in the off-season, depending on how high their pick from the Nets will turn out to be and even more so whether the Kings can turn around their season (I believe they will compete for the 8th playoff spot).

  • Agreed that Kings will be looking for potential superstar in trade i.e will not include the Bulls.

    That said, heading into trading season what ideally would the Bulls do to improve the roster situation going forward? Butler and Mirotic are really the only guys I'd be interested in keeping. Oh, and oF course Kiirk Hinrich(wink Pax/Gar). Snell can shoot threes and deceptively looks like an NBA wing. And McDermott can shoot threes and perhaps his prolific college scoring moniker still holds some hope for certain dreamy eyed NBA G.M's.

    I'd think unloading Snell and McDermott for picks or a solid two way wing would be desirable. You just have to find a sap, and it only takes one. Otherwise trading a playoff defensive albatross in aging Gasol makes sense also. Certainly Noah's expiring contract and NBA career gives you opportunities to sign some decent value pieces to offset the ginormous payroll sandbag that is Derrick Rose.

    Of course all these points are moot if you believe or want your fan base to believe that the Bulls are "contender" worthy the way things stand. Thus ensuring continued revenue stream enabled in part by complacent corporate seating blocks i.e Satan.

    Bottom line: with the Bulls offense ranked nearly last in the league and unproven rookie "guru" Hoiberg at the helm supposedly enhancing said train wreck one wonders how that might hinder team development in the short term along with enabling the stand pat facade to continue. Certainly Portis should be getting some developmental minutes and Niko needs starter comitted minutes to see if he is for real or not. Meanwhile most likely none of this will happen with anti-fan friendly Gar/Pax. Thus, we're screwed.

  • Bulls do not make trades, especially for superstars, especially in-season. Even if the Bulls offered substantially more than everyone else, history shows that teams would rather take less from the Celtics or Lakers than more from the Bulls.

    There will be a shuffling of the deck this offseason, but as long as they're stuck with Rose, the Bulls are going nowhere. When Rose is finally off the books, LeBron will be nearing retirement and a new window will open. There's basically no hope until then and all moves should be geared towards winning then but not until then.

  • I honestly dont see any scenario we can get the Kings to agree to that doesnt involve Jimmy. They dont want nor need Rose. On his Talent and Contract currently being so unnattractive, it wouldnt make sense for us to trade with them realistically. Our Picks arent worth much, our young talent is bleh in comparison to the best C in the league. (I count Davis as a PF and no one else is even close imo, Howard has regressed and Towns/Okafor are still rookies)

    So I think this is a non starter. If we dont offer Jimmy, its not a conversation. Someone will beat our offer with talent or assets even with multiple teams. Nice to think about though.

    The only case we can make is with Cap Space. Pau/Noah coming off the books is pretty nice but I dont think they care too much abut that. They want to make the playoffs or tank hard.

  • This year Cousins is due to make $16+ million. Next season is $17 million and in 2017-2018 it will be $18 million.

    Of course the Bulls would trade any 3 of their bigs and picks for Cousins, but I doubt that would do it.

    How about Butler and a pick? Would you do that? Only if convinced that Cousins would buy into the Bulls team and HC.

  • I would have to disagree with 1096ballenf. Cousins stats are skewed because he plays on a lousy team. He does not have a great attitude, seems to be a difficult player to coach, and really doesn't seem to positively impact team chemistry. I would much rather have Andre Drummund from the Pistons or Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies. Cousins is not the best center in the NBA. Bulls need to stay away from this guy.

  • In reply to Jim Bob:

    Name a Center better than Cousins? Davis is a PF honestly and Howard has regressed since his Orlando days. No one is better on both ends than Cousins when he is focused. Stats and attitude come along with the package but so does the talent. We dont need our players to be best friendsor even to be liked, we need them to play well. Everyone is happy whe you are winning. Its the losing and inconsistency that brings our the attitude and criticism.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    The guy is a major headcase, an unmotivated basketball moron, a personal and team cancer, but if available the Kings will get all kinds of offers better than anything the Bulls can offer, because everybody will talk themselves into believing that they are uniquely qualified to change Cousins essential character from a piece of shit to at least a useful teammate around which they can fantasize about building a champion. As much as I hate everything that he represents, I'd probably be OK with any trade that didn't include Butler.

  • Personally, I would do almost any deal that ended up with us having Butler and Cousins and building around that. I dont see that as possible. But thats my desired outcome. Otherwise I dont do any deal at all.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Do you believe that Butler is a more valuable player than Cousins?

    I myself really do not know, but Butler has not progressed this season like I thought he would.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    If I'm drafting players, it would be a tough call between Butler and Cousins. They're both among the best players at their respective positions. Cousins is more likely to dominate a game but also more likely to disappear. It's harder to find quality Cs but Butler doesn't have the issues with coaching or focus that Cousins has. So again, tough call if I'm drafting from scratch but if I'm the Bulls, I don't trade Butler to get him.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I think this is the correct answer. I specifically didn't list Butler as a trade piece because frankly, I wouldn't trade Butler for Cousins.

    The idea would be to be these two guys given they're basically at the same point in there careers.

    Cousins probably is the better player, but not by much. If we're listing out players, I think both guys fall into the top 15, and are only separated by several spots.

    Trading one for the other seems like a lateral move.

    If you exchange two stars, you end up where you're now, anyway, just with a different look and feel.

  • How about this one? Butler, Gasol, McDermott, Hinrich, and a pick for Cousins and Rudy Gay. Then go pick up another G someplace.

  • The Lakers must be kicking themselves, they would of had the perfect trade chip if they drafted Okafor. The Kings would of been foolish to turn that down. I dont see the Bulls making a big splash, they are the type to wait and see, and get some older veteran free agent........just no more carlos boozers.

  • Do not trade Butler for anyone. He's the team's best player; he hasn't yet shown his potential because he's a team player that is trying to make everyone fit in. Once released of Rose at his side, he'll be the superstar. And why trade for anyone who is a jerk, no matter how "good" he is? Never works out well. Why else would the Kings want to unload Cousins?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Jimmy's efficiency has always come from playing within himself and the team. When he tries to step out and be the iso alpha dog his efficiency plummets as he is a terrible iso scorer and the advanced metrics back it up. I think they should feed him more but saying lose Rose and Jimmy becomes a superstar is not necessarily true. He has struggled in the past with too much defensive attention.

  • Kings would be stupid to take two crappy firsts and a aging Taj and McDermott who is likely to get lost in their wing depth. Niko is the only piece I would be interested in but he is nowhere near the value of Cousins.

    That and the Bulls have a long history of overvaluing their players and thus I am not sure they would even make that offer.

  • Keep Jimmy at all costs.

    I love Boogie. A great guy, just too emotional, kinda like my wife sometimes. He was great down at UK for Cal and sacrificed for the good of that team.

    I don't know if I love Boogie on the Bulls, however. We need guys who can fit Hoiberg's system and I am unsure if Boogie would fit such a system.

    I don't like the idea of trading McDermott. He's lights out from 3. He has the chance to be the elite 3 point shooter in today's game, maybe outside of the plash bros and up there with Korver. He has gotten better.

    I really like the idea of Bulls rolling small with Gibson/Portis at the 5 in upcoming years. Both are two way players who can hit outside shots and play hard.

    While this Bulls team may be "locked in" with Rose (may as well keep him and hope he improves...), I would entertain offers to dump him. Also, I'd consider dumping Noah and Gasol, too, since they don't fit the system either. Gasol has great value this year to a contender like OKC. Don't let him leave for nothing b/c the Bulls aren't beating Cleveland this year with this team. Better realign for future years. Rebuild on the fly if we can get some good deals and use our cap space wisely.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Although I think there should be interest and a decent return (e.g. late 1st rounder) for Pau, I don't think there would be any takers for Rose or Noah at all.

    At least Rose looked better the other night against the Grizzlies. Of course, then he opens mouth and inevitably, something stupid comes out. This time it's "I'm going to play the way that I want to play, not the way people want me to play". For the most part, the way people want him to play is to play fast and utilize his teammates and the way he wants to play is jack up ill-advised 3s.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yeah, the other night I cringed when, after hitting a few close shots, Rose had to shoot a three. One or two of those a game are OK provided his scoring otherwise is efficient and he is distributing the ball!

    So, Roman, do you trade Butler, Gasol, McDermott, two picks and a few pieces for Cousins and Gay?

  • Excluding Butler, I just don't see Bulls having enough value to trade for Cousins. It seems certain Sacramento could easily get better offers from several other teams.

    Currently at .385, Sacramento needs to get their winning percentage up over .450 for Bulls to have a shot at getting their draft pick this season. Sac started the season 1-7, and has gone 9-9 since.

  • In reply to Edward:

    They are 1-6 in the 7 games that Cousins has missed, so .500 seems doable, but you never know with that collection of knuckleheads.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We can only hope......
    IMO, Bulls simply have a talent deficit, so trades aren't going to solve their roster troubles as they have little of value to trade.

    Bulls really need that Sac 1st round pick from dumping Deng. Along with scoring in free agency this summer or next.

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