The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in trading for Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, as ESPN's Marc Stein has reported, but a source close to the Kings tells ESPN's Chris Broussard that owner Vivek Ranadive will not allow coach George Karl to trade Cousins.
Karl has been given the power to make draft picks and engineer some trades, the source told Broussard, but Karl, so far, has not been allowed to move Cousins.
When the Kings hired Karl in the spring, there was pushback from Cousins' camp, and the Sacramento Bee reported that Cousins and Karl haven't spoken for months. But Karl's comments in mid-April that everyone is tradable seemed to confirm what many believe, that Karl wants to move Cousins.
Ranadive told USA Today Sports on Monday that the team has "zero interest" in trading Cousins. "I have no idea where that's coming from," Ranadive said of the reports. "But if you like, you should talk to [Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations] Vlade [Divac], because I know Vlade feels exactly the same way. And I'm deferring to Vlade on everything. We have no interest in moving him. From my perspective, it's really simple: We feel that he's a one-of-a-kind player, and we have a group of players right now and we're going to build on it."
Earlier this week, Divac told the Sacramento Bee that a Cousins trade "was not happening, but I would love to do something, a smaller move, before the draft."
As ESPN's Stein reported Monday, the Lakers have been the most determined suitor for Cousins, despite the Kings' reluctance to move their big man. The Lakers do have the No. 2 pick to trade, but it's not clear that the team has the assets to get Cousins.
In addition to the Lakers, the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets also have interest in Cousins.
A source told Broussard that Karl is interested in Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson and forward Kenneth Faried. If the Kings owner eventually allows Karl to trade Cousins, Denver also might be a strong suitor for Cousins, though a source told Broussard that Karl would consider trading forward Rudy Gay for Lawson.