Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to rolling the dice and the makings of his biggest trade since the Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett deals of 2007 may be in place.
NBAonNBC.com reported Sunday night that the Celtics could land Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins as soon as Monday morning.
The website later offered a clarification on a previous post:
A note from Gilroy, the owner of NBAonNBC.com…
“We as a website are not predicting or promising a trade. We are confirming previous speculation from well known sources (A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE) that the Celtics are very busy targeting Cousins. Our only new news is that the potential holdup in the deal is the inclusion of (Avery) Bradley or (Courtney) Lee.”
Blakely tweeted Sunday night:
“The #Celtics decision to waive Vernado AND Joseph, opens the door for what one league source says may be a “blockbuster” deal.”
“The name that keeps coming up with everyone I speak with about the #Celtics and trades, is #Kings stud DeMarcus Cousins”
Cousins was suspended by the Kings in late December for “unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team.” He reportedly got into an argument with head coach Keith Smart during a game against the Clippers and was ordered to remain in the locker room for the entire second half.
The troubled big man was suspended one game by the NBA earlier this season for striking Dallas guard O.J. Mayo in the groin during a game on Dec. 10 and was given a two-game suspension for confronting Spurs color analyst Sean Elliott in a “hostile manner” in early November.
Ainge has never been shy about taking on so-called reclamation projects in the past. The Celtics have acquired players such as Nate Robinson, Rasheed Wallace, Gary Payton, Delonte West, Antoine Walker, Ricky Davis and Stephon Marbury in Ainge’s tenure. The majority of those players, however, were players in their mid-to-late 30s. The difference here is the age and upside of the 22-year-old Cousins, who just three years ago was helping John Wall and Kentucky reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Cousins’ play has been compared to players like current Grizzlies star Zach Randolph and former New Jersey Net Derrick Coleman. The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins averaged 18.1 points and 11 rebounds per game last season with the Kings. He has posted 11 20-plus point games this season with Sacramento.