Celtics, Heat, Bulls want to trade for DeMarcus Cousins


The Sacramento Kings won’t give up DeMarcus Cousins easily, but the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are going after him.

DeMarcus Cousins is quite possibly the most talented center in the NBA. From his raw power and skill in the post to his improved range and passing, he can instantly improve the fortunes of a franchise. That being said, the Sacramento Kings have expressed their loyalty to him, so it’s going to be difficult for the teams currently going after him to make a good enough offer.

As Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops has reported, though, the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are all significantly interested in Cousins:

"Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has drawn significant trade interest from the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, league sources tell SheridanHoops.Sacramento is listening, but the Kings are in a holding pattern and currently have no plans to make a deal despite sitting in 13th place in the 15-team Western Conference, the sources said.But should owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Vlade Divac and coach George Karl decide to change course, they have been made acutely aware what is available from the Celtics, Heat and Bulls."

Before even considering the likelihood of any of these three teams landing Cousins, it’s clear why they’re interested. The Celtics are playing great as a team and rank fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency, yet they lack major frontcourt scoring and a superstar that could take them to new heights.

The Heat are under great financial pressure, and with Hassan Whiteside being a free agent by next summer, they can’t afford to give him a max contract which he’s more than earned with the rising salary cap as the new league-leader in both blocks per game (4) and defensive rating (89.3).

As for the Bulls, they have numerous frontcourt talent in Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, and they can easily let some go. Gasol has already admitted that it’s “very likely” he’ll opt out of his contract with his player option after this season, and Noah simply isn’t valuable enough anymore to make the Bulls keeping his $13.4 million contract certain.

In all honesty, though, no matter how hard these teams will try and get Cousins, it’s going to be hard for them to do so. If the Kings want to go another route and move on from Cousins by going for a defense-first approach, maybe trading for Whiteside makes the most sense. As for the Bulls and Celtics, they’re going to have to create some seriously impressive package deals to entice the Kings away from their best player, and that won’t be easy.

However, one backup option for the Heat if they can’t get Cousins is Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets, as he’s reportedly ‘very unhappy’ right now and a trade could be likely in the near future. For Dwight personally, a possible increase in his offensive role in Miami would certainly entice him.

Cousins is worth a lot of sacrifice for the way he could anchor your teams for years to come, but it’s going to be difficult to acquire him to say the least.