O'Connor: Vlade Divac called the Celtics about Cousins, but refused to negotiate high asking price
According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, Kings GM Vlade Divac did put a call in with the Boston Celtics on Sunday night in regards to making a deal for DeMarcus Cousins. Divac asked the Celtics for a lot more than what they were willing spend, also much more than they ultimately got for Cousins, and refused to negotiate with Ainge and Co:
According to Kevin O'Connor at the @ringer Divac wanted a lot more for Boogie from the Celtics then he settled for & refused to negotiate pic.twitter.com/MQ93Ty0Y2R— CelticsLife.com (@CelticsLife) February 21, 2017
The Celtics have maintained they were never in on Cousins Sunday night; however, this makes more sense that at the very least the Kings did inquire about interest in the superstar center from the team with certainly the most to give. Could this be a case of Trader Danny's reputation going against him and Vlade not wanting to end up in the "I got hosed by Danny Ainge in a trade" Hall of Fame?
Divac talked yesterday about the Cousin-to-New Orleans trade and insinuated that he had a better offer on the table a couple days prior. Wait, what?
#Kings GM Vlade Divac says he had a better trade offer for DeMarcus Cousins 2 days ago.— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 20, 2017
Who says that?!? So Vlade's logic is that he had a better offer on the table a couple days prior, and that's the reason he had to make a deal now...because, you know...the value will definitely go down between now and Thursday. Wait for another team to panic and get crazy with an offer? Nope. Even if you covet Buddy Hield that much, and that's the guy you want. Do you really think the Pelicans aren't going to be willing to part with a 23-year old rookie shooting-guard in a few days?
By all accounts Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé thinks that Hield is the next coming of...I can't even say it. Via Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer:
Ranadivé believes Hield has Steph Curry–level potential, according to a front-office executive with knowledge of the Sacramento majority owner’s mindset.
Maybe the market for Cousins wasn't what some of us envisioned all along. Obviously the character issues are a massive concern, but this guy has the talent to be a top-5 player in the NBA. A 1st-round pick and another lottery rookie who's not exactly setting the NBA on fire seems way low to me. I did find it humorous though that according to Adrian Wojnarowski the Kings stopped taking calls on Cousins in the midst of the frenzy Sunday night:
Other teams with interest in a Cousins deal are no longer getting calls returned from Kings management tonight, sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 20, 2017
That screams: We are not interested in a better offer.
It doesn't even really matter if Vlade wasn't willing to negotiate with Boston, because by all accounts the Celtics had no interest in Cousins whatsoever. Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe got some inside scoop from a source with the C's:
"It's not just that he can be emotional on the court," the source said. "It's just playing with him every day. Like, when a coach says he can't coach him, you lose credibility. You can't sustain things that are important to winning if a coach isn't able to hold him accountable."
Furthermore the source made note that the Celtics couldn't find a single person to endorse DeMarcus on the court:
"But it's his on-court demeanor, his play, his effort, that type of stuff," the source said. "It's just really hard when you can't find one basketball person (to vouch for him)."
I would imagine that includes Isaiah Thomas, who played alongside Cousins in Sacramento before heading to Phoenix. Himmelsbach also got from that C's source that they have never been interested in Cousins:
Privately, Celtics executives had found humor in the media’s incessant mention of Cousins as a possible trade target in recent seasons, all along knowing there was no interest on their end.
Said a team source: “I’m glad it’s finally over.”
Talk about a masterclass in keeping your cards close to your vest. Something the Celtics front office does better than just about anybody.
CelticsLife Pod 006.1: DeMarcus Cousins trade emergency pod
The Celtics could have easily trumped the Cousins-to-Pelicans deal; so why didn't they?
Photo Credit - NBA.com
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