After all of the rumors and reports heading into the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers stayed put at the No.2 pick only they opted not to select Jahlil Okafor and instead went for D'Angelo Russell, a player general manager Mitch Kupchak said he could not afford to pass up on. With a point guard in place that could likely start on opening night, will Los Angeles figure out a way to get a trade done for DeMarcus Cousins?
By all accounts, Cousins is still available even with the NBA Draft complete. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, there is a lot of tension within the Kings organization right now as George Karl continues to push for a trade of Cousins while owner Vivek Ranadive has no plans on letting that happen. As a result, talks of Karl getting fired have surfaced while other players are tweeting out they will be traded to Sacramento soon enough. The Kings did not help themselves by drafting center Willie Cauley-Stein in the first round leading many to believe he is the replacement to Cousins.
Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson speculated on social media that he would be involved in a Cousins trade as the franchise looks to deal both the point guard and Kenneth Faried to Sacramento. However, can the Lakers still get a deal done? According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers were pushing a trade with the Kings that involved the No.2 pick, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. Even without the draft pick, the package could be enticing for the Kings who still need point guard help. The Lakers have future picks stashed that could win over the Kings as well.
While getting Russell is a huge help for the Lakers, they still have a lot of roster holes to fill. IF a trade for Cousins gets denied, the team can easily chase several other options like LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol or Greg Monroe. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Lakers are slowly gaining speed as an option for Aldridge who plans on opting out of his contract with the Trail Blazers. The Lakers could also try and escalate a trade for Roy Hibbert who is reportedly getting shopped in deals.