A look at NBA trade rumors involving DeMarcus Cousins and the Washington Wizards, who could acquire Cousins through a sign and trade with the Pelicans this summer.
The pressure is on Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld this summer to make a major move. Grunfeld curiously and quietly received a contract extension earlier this year that will keep him as the team’s boss through the end of the 2018-19 NBA season. But by all accounts this was a “make good or you’re fired” type deal, as the Wizards have been stuck in neutral for years.
“We go from here to there to here to there every year,” Wizards star John Wall told the Washington Post. “If you want to be a championship team, be a team that does well in the playoffs and the regular season and succeed – you have to stay at a steady level. You might drop a little big, but you can’t keep going up and down every year, all year. That’s something we’ve been dealing with since I’ve been here.”
The door is open a crack for the Wizards to strike on a sign and trade for Cousins. The Pelicans look like they are only going to be willing to offer Cousins a two or three-year deal for less than a max deal after he went down with an injury during the regular season this past season. The fact that the Pelicans actually improved their play after Cousins went down is something that will surely be brought up at the negotiating table, and that could aggravate Cousins’ people. Cousins “liked” an Instagram post recently that said he will go to the highest bidder.
If the market on Cousins is relatively dry, which is a solid bet right now, the Wizards would certainly be in the mix for a sign and trade. The Pelicans believe they can compete now with Anthony Davis as the main man and would want ready-made players in return. The Wizards are one of the few teams that would be interested in facilitating that type of move as both Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter Jr. would be looked at in a deal.
The Pelicans are weak at the wing position and want an upgrade over E’Twaun Moore. Oubre or Porter would do the trick.
The Mavericks have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Cousins as well, but the Mavs simply do not have the talent yet to be able to compete in the Western Conference. Money is certainly the first priority for Cousins, but he does want to shed the career loser tag he’s been carrying for some time as well.