Vlade Divac seemingly has put an end to the persistent rumors that Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins might be traded.
“Right now, if we’re talking about today, yeah, DeMarcus is untradeable,” the team’s vice president of basketball and franchise operations said during an interview on NBA Radio on SiriusXM before Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery. “He’s a guy who we’re going to try to build around and see where he’s going to take us.”
The Kings stayed at their projected spot in the lottery and will pick sixth in the NBA draft on June 25.
The chatter around the NBA about Cousins’ future hasn’t subsided, despite public statements from principal owner Vivek Ranadive supporting Cousins.
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At first, the speculation was based on the perception Cousins’ attitude might be too much for the Kings to deal with and teams would try to land him at a bargain price. The latest rumors were fueled by coach George Karl, who said last month he had never coached an untradeable player.
Cousins has not asked to be traded, though that certainly could happen if he and Karl clash.
“Well, I think, you know, coach kind of stepped it up further than he should, and of course everybody has their opinion,” Divac said during the interview.
Divac’s comments likely won’t quiet chatter about a possible trade, with Boston likely to continue to come up, but Ranadive and Divac, the Kings’ top two decision-makers on the basketball side of operations, are fans of Cousins.
Unless that changes, Cousins will continue to wear a Kings uniform.