NBA Trade Rumors: DeMarcus Cousins Trade Scenarios For the Cavaliers

Ezra Shaw

Which totally hypothetical and made up DeMarcus Cousins trade scenarios would I be okay with? Let's find out.

So with the news that the Cavaliers may be interested in DeMarcus Cousins, I've decided to take it upon myself (okay, with some slight nudging from David) to come up with:

TRADE SPECULATION!!!!!!!!!

I feel it necessary to use bold lettering and exclamation points in order to say that these are totally made up, and not based in any concrete rumors. So without any further ado, let's begin!

Trade #1: DeMarcus Cousins for the 2013 #1 Overall Pick

This is the basis of most of the speculation. Would the Cavs be willing to trade Nerlens Noel for DeMarcus Cousins without any other pieces involved? David and Conrad disagree with me on this one, but I actually would be okay with this. I think that getting a proven, 20+ PER center for a center, even with defensive deficiencies and work ethic problems, is worth giving up a player Noel, who has knee injury questions and some offensive question marks.

I'm wary about adding Cousins into a young locker room, but I hope that guys like Tristan Thompson among others can keep him in line. Also, I have a little bit more faith than most do in Mike Brown's ability to teach him defensive basketball. The only question is if he has the agility to defend pick and rolls, which is an essential task in Mike Brown's defensive system. I would take my chances on him if the price is an unproven defensive stopper (that I happen to really, really like as a prospect) in Noel, but I wouldn't do much more than that.

Oh, and speaking of Tristan Thompson....

Trade #2: DeMarcus Cousins and the 2013 #7 Overall Pick for Tristan Thompson and the #1 Overall Pick

I would not do this. While Cousins is better than Thompson and far more skilled, I don't like the idea of getting rid of a great locker room presence who nearly averaged a double-double while playing solid defense. The goal is not to find someone to replace Thompson, it's to find someone to play with Thompson and mature with Thompson. If the Cavs acquire Cousins, I think Thompson would be an essential piece to keeping him in line in the locker room.

I'm also not a big fan of talent available at #7 in this draft. The Cavs don't need a guard, which takes Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, and C.J. McCollum. You'd basically be resigning yourself to taking Cody Zeller, Shabazz Muhammad, or reaching for one of the flawed big guys. The draft value isn't there for the Cavs, which knocks the trade value off.

Trade #3: DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson for Anderson Varejao, 2013 #19 Overall Pick, and Future Guaranteed Lottery Grizzlies Pick

If you're wondering what the conditions are on that Grizzlies pick, just look at this site and scroll down to the Cleveland section. It's complicated, but basically it's a lottery pick somewhere between 6-14 sometime between 2015 and the next millennium.

So, the Kings would get two seasons of Varejao (or probably just one full season given his injury issues) for Cousins, plus two more top 20 picks. I also don't see it Patterson as having much value with one year left on his deal. I wouldn't have a problem with this I guess. These are simply two extra picks that were throw-ins in trades for the Cavs. So to be able to get one of the most skilled centers in the NBA for that would be a master stroke for the Cavs. Not sure this is something the Kings would do, but it probably does at least get the discussion going for them if they're set on moving him this offseason.

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So basically what it comes down to for me is that I don't think I'd be willing to give up a piece of the current core for Cousins, but I do think I'd be willing to make a deal involving something that isn't already established here. While Cousins has his warts, he's still already a proven offensive center and great defensive rebounder. Pairing him with Thompson in the front court seems like it could possibly be a top 2-3 front court in the NBA in five years, given their complimentary games and high skill levels.

Now the question shifts to whether or not these rumors are actually believable, and whether or not the Cavs would consider taking on Cousins. Do you guys have any better or more believable offers? Throw them in the comments.

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