Last night, Boogie Cousins tweeted emojis saying “Snakes in the Grass,” and rumors are flying today that he wants out. George Karl apparently wants Cousins, who hasn’t spoken to Karl in months, out of Sacramento, but owner Vivek Ranadive knows that a superstar like Cousins in the NBA is a gold mine, and he won’t let Boogie go anywhere.
At this point, Cousins, his agent, and the Kings are at an impasse. It seems almost impossible to me that Boogie would return to the Kings after the coach/GM want him traded, and if he does return, it’s only a matter of time until he can be traded in February at the trade deadline. Ranadive should smarten up, see the writing on the wall, and realize that he can get the most for Boogie in the summer, when draft picks are the most available and teams, including his own, have more cap space and roster spots to make a trade like this one happen.
Since yesterday, the Lakers have been the team that the rumors have centered around, with the LA Times trying so hard to make these rumors a reality. Somehow, I’m not buying it, becuase Ranadive won’t trade Cousins for nothing, no matter how badly he wants out — especially not in the Summer, when the rosters and cap sheets are more open like I just mentioned. For assets, the Lakers only have the number 2 pick, Julius Randle (coming off a huge injury and maybe not the most potential in the first place), and Jordan Clarkson, the promising young point guard who should be pretty good someday but by no means a centerpiece in a deal for DeMarcus Cousins.
The number 2 pick, which should be either Towns or Okafor, would be a pretty good consolation prize for losing Boogie, but I still don’t think it would be enough if the Kings are trying to get a fair price for the best center in the NBA (since Anthony Davis often plays power forward now). The Celtics will obviously try to do everything under the sun to get Boogie without giving up Marcus Smart, and it might be possible. Maybe James Young, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk or Jae Crowder, both Brooklyn picks, and some of the Celtics’ picks this season for Boogie, if the trade happens before the draft. Or if Ainge is able to trade 16 and 28 for, let’s say, pick no. 9, as has been rumored, then that could definitely be thrown in the deal. I have no idea if any of that would work, and it might come down to how much Boogie specifically wants the Lakers. If he does, and if his thorn-in-the-side agent Dan Fegan says he’s only signing in Los Angeles, then the Celtics would have to beat the Lakers offer.
If Boogie has said that he will only sign in Los Angeles, but if the Celtics can get Boogie without giving up Smart, i make the trade all day every day. Usually in these kinds of cases, the player has only a year left on his contract, but not now. Boogie has 3 years left on his deal, and that’s more than enough time for the Celtics to take him in, impress the living hell out of him, and then get him to re-sign here. Remember, the cap is going up after next summer, so if Boogie re-signs in 2018, he’ll be able to get wayyyy more money with the C’s than with anyone else. And state taxes are becoming more and more of an issue for athletes, but Massachusetts isn’t terrible. We can’t compete with Florida’s lack of state taxes, but both Sacramento and Los Angeles are in a state that charges over 13% for anyone in that income bracket, while we have a fixed tax rate of 5.5% no matter their income. So if we get Boogie to play here and he sees that the Celtics will be competitive for a long time with an organization with a lot of structure, two things that he’s never had in his career, I doubt he’ll leave.
It’s times like these when I’m quite happy that we have a GM as smart as Danny Ainge. He understands that the reason for collecting assets is to get superstars, as he showed in the summer of 2007. Let’s see if he can do it again.