Boston Celtics

Time for a New King in the East

Trading for DeMarcus Cousins could change up the Eastern Conference in a big way

After DeMarcus Cousin’s latest off court incident the Boston Celtics should try to get him at a steal and make a trade.

On Dec. 9, Cousins added to his infamous off court record by berating a Sacramento columnist for mentioning his brother, Jaleel, who was tased in a night club, in a recent article. Now although this is clearly a minor incident it is another example of how toxic Cousins can be, consistently drawing attention away from what is happening on the court. With this in mind it could be the perfect time for Danny Ainge and the Celtics to tempt the struggling Kings with an enticing rebuilding package.

Despite his off court issues, Cousins is one of the few legitimate superstars in today’s NBA. Through 26 games this season he is currently averaging a staggering 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 blocks. Also, despite having to deal with six coaches in his brief tenure in the league, he continues to develop his game. This year he has shown a great improvement in his range and is currently shooting 36% from 3 point land. In addition, despite handling the ball a lot in this extremely poor Kings team he has lowered his turnover numbers to only 2.9 per game.

Cousins’ improvement as a player has not, however, translated into wins for the Kings, who are currently sitting at 10 wins and 17 losses. They have also never made the playoffs in Cousins’ previous six years in the league. Now in a star league where all stars win ball games this is a travesty. Cousin’s is the best center in the entire NBA and for him to have not made the playoffs in seven years is unfathomable.

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With all of this in mind, the few remaining Kings supporters must be ready for a change. I mean after all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the first sign that you are going insane. Enter Danny Ainge and his closet full of draft picks and roster full of talented young players. The Celtics are in a perfect position to make a deal that would turn them into a serious contender in the Eastern conference, not one of the many pretenders clogging it up and would also provide the Sacramento faithful with a glimmer of hope for the future.

The Celtics currently have a glut of picks that would make most GM’s around the league salivate. In both 2017 and 2018 the Celtics have the Brooklyn Nets first round pick which could, with a little bit of luck, very easily turn into two first picks overall. They also have both the Clippers and Grizzlies first round picks in 2019.

So here’s the deal. The Celtics should offer the languishing Kings a package of Amir Johnson and his expiring contract, Tyler Zeller, a precious commodity as he is a seven footer who can shoot and is currently wasting away on the bench, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier or Jaylen Brown (their choice) and the Celtics’ first round pick in 2017 and one of their first round picks in 2019 for Cousins.

I know many Celtics fans will shudder at the thought of losing the game changing defender Smart, the rapidly improving Rozier who has finally shown an ability to get to the rim or the undeniably athletic Brown, but as the Celtics get healthy they are quickly going to be fighting for minutes and seeing one of them leave may actually help the other two develop. Also, as next year’s draft class looks like a point guard heavy draft, losing the first overall pick may not be the worst thing in the world for the Celtics who are already very talented in this position and do not require another project especially in the position that takes the longest to develop.

Now like most Boston fans, I’ve enjoyed watching this scrappy bunch fight this year and I admit it would hurt to see any of them leave but let’s be honest, unless we’re praying for LeBron James to hurt himself by tripping over one of his many trophies, we have no chance of dethroning him this year. But if Ainge can get creative and turn his hard work into a King of his own, Cousins, the Celtics may just have the roster to overthrow his reign on the East.

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