Kings organization denies report DeMarcus Cousins is still trade bait

Though rumors he could be on the move have died down, the Sacramento Kings are still interested in trading All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. 
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Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and player personnel chief Vlade Divac denied a report from Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that the franchise was still considering trading All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.

“Sacramento wants to hold onto him. Certainly, the owner VivekRanadive absolutely wants to hold onto DeMarcus Cousins. But I've been told that if you polled the rest of the organization, the vast majority are in favor of trading DeMarcus Cousins and that would include, though he denies it, coach George Karl,” Beck reported. 

Cousins downplayed the rumors with a three-word tweet, and Ranadive and Divac responded.

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Rumors that the Kings could be interested in trading Cousins were most prevalent in the weeks leading up the NBA draft in June. The Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets were initially said to be the most likely destinations, in part because Karl was interested in reuniting with Ty Lawson, who he coached in Denver for several years. Lawson was later arrested for drunk driving, released by the Nuggets and signed by the Houston Rockets.

Reports emerged after the draft that Lakers were willing to trade No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell to the Kings in exchange for Cousins.

Cousins, who turns 25 in August, has three years left on the max deal he signed in 2013. He had a career year last season, averaging 24.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 blocks per game, all career highs.

- Dan Gartland