With a current record of 8-15, it's probably safe to say that the Sacramento Kings have already been kicked out of playoff contention. According to sources, this could eventually push the team to trade away DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins has been known as one of the most productive players in the current NBA season. Although it would appear that trading him doesn't make sense for the Kings, it would eventually based on the team's long-term plans, according to Bleacher Report.
Even though Cousins averages 28.8 points per game this season, Sacramento is still struggling to win games with him on the lineup. According to Chris Broussard of Fox Sports, the Kings have already set forth a condition for keeping Cousins.
If they are able to secure a playoff spot this season, then they will most likely keep Cousins. However, if they get eliminated, then they will probably trade him. Based on where the Kings are currently at, it seems they would go with the latter option.
"The last time I talked to people about [DeMarcus Cousins], which was last week, what I was being told is that the Kings want to keep him into the trade deadline or close to the trade deadline and see where they are as a team," Broussard said via Hoops Hype.
"If they are competing and in the playoff hunt, what I'm told is they would like to keep him," he added.
If the Kings decide to keep Cousins, then they will use their trade options, draft picks and the free agency to build a roster around him. But, due to salary restrictions imposed by Cousins' contract, doing so might be very challenging for the team.
Trading him, on the other hand, along with other veterans of the Sacramento franchise, will create enough salary space for the Kings to secure the rookie athletes that they want. Through this option, they will be able to build a younger and possibly stronger team for the 2017 season, which is what many teams did this year.
As for Cousins, although it is not yet clear where he will end up next season, there are certainly a lot of teams that will greatly benefit in trading for him.