The NBA season is now a couple of weeks old, but there are a plethora of rumors already swirling around the league. Even though the trade deadline is still over three months away, several players already find themselves on the trade block. Here are the latest NBA rumors you need to know:
"50-50" chance Kings trade Cousins
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been at the center of trade rumors for the past two years, and while several teams have expressed interest - namely the Boston Celtics - the Kings haven't been willing to trade him. However, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops reports that there's a solid chance he gets dealt:
“I’d say it’s 50-50,” said one Western Conference executive. “If not, it’s not necessarily because they want to keep him.”
Instead, several team executives and general managers told Amico Hoops the Kings are only holding on to Cousins because they have no other choice.
“They’ll never get what they want in return,” said an East GM. “They think Cousins is worth more than he actually is. He hurts you every bit as much as he helps you. He’s like a cheeseburger, or booze. Too much and you’ll pay a price.”
A third team executive told Amico Hoops that Kings GM Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive have indeed explored moving Cousins, albeit in a “passive-aggressive” and “secretive” manner.
Cousins is averaging 25.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in 32.7 minutes per game this season.
Celtics interested in Noel
Another big man the Celtics are targeting is Nerlens Noel. The Philadelphia 76ers have been trying to trade him since the offseason, and with them not signing him to a long-term extension, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe sees that as an opportunity for the Celtics to acquire him this year, or to sign him as a free agent after the season.
The deadline for long-term extensions for fourth-year players has passed, and seven of the 30 first-round picks from the 2013 draft agreed to extensions. There were no real shockers, but it was notable that the 76ers didn’t come close to striking a deal with center Nerlens Noel, who could have earned a deal in the $70 million range because of his potential, especially defensively. But it seems the 76ers have decided to move Noel, who will now be a restricted free agent this summer. The Celtics have long admired Noel, so don’t be surprised if they make an offer next summer, hoping to pair the Everett native with Al Horford in the frontcourt.
Noel, who is not short on suitors, has also been linked to the Toronto Raptors. He is out for a few more weeks after having knee surgery in October, so no deal could be reached until he returned. Last year, Noel averaged 11.1 and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Griffin not looking forward to free agency
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will be one of the biggest free agents available this summer, and has been heavily linked to the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Griffin said that he hasn't even thought about free agency yet, according to ESPN's Andrew Han.
As the Clippers prepare to depart for Oklahoma City and try to avenge their lone loss of the season, Blake Griffin brushed aside notions that those close to him would be recruiting the star power forward to play for his hometown team after the season.
"People that I talk to and my friends and family from back home, I think they're ... I would say true friends and family, where they know that my main focus is this season and this team," Griffin said after the Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 111-80 on Wednesday night. "And they know that I enjoy playing here and I love this team, coaching staff, everybody. So they know that that's my main focus. So I think they pretty much know not to bring that up."
The five-time All-Star was born and raised in Oklahoma City and attended Oklahoma for two years, where he was the national college player of the year in 2009. Griffin was drafted first overall in 2009 by the Clippers and has spent his entire NBA career in Los Angeles.
"It's honestly nothing I even really think about," Griffin said to SiriusXM NBA Radio during the preseason. "Haven't had a conversation with anybody. That includes friends, family, agents, coaches, teammates. ... It's not a conversation I have. I got a lot of basketball left to play this year. I got a full season, postseason, still got some preseason. So that's on the back on my mind. I'll deal with that when the appropriate time comes. But right now isn't the time."
Griffin is averaging 19.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game so far this season.Back to the NBA Newsfeed