DeMarcus Cousins to Lakers, Julius Randle to Kings, Rudy Gay to Nuggets in blockbuster seven-player deal

NBA trade rumors are still hot in Lakers Nation as the team begins a new era after the retirement of future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. The latest rumor mill chatter indicates that the Lakers are looking to make a major move to bring in a new superstar to replace the Black Mamba.

According to the website, Lakers Rumors, Los Angeles is working behind the scenes with Sacramento and Denver on a potential three-team trade. In this scenario, the Lakers would acquire center DeMarcus Cousins and small forward Wilson Chandler, while the Kings would get power forward Julius Randle, combo guard Lou Williams, point guard Jose Calderon, shooting guard Nick Young, and Los Angeles’ first-round draft pick in 2017. The Nuggets would come out of this swap with small forward Rudy Gay and a second-round draft choice from the Lakers.

Right away, this rumored trade seems curious. It is completely understandable that the Los Angeles Lakers would like to bring in a high-profile player to help the team on and off the court, but obtaining a star center would seem to be an odd choice. Los Angeles just gave a four-year, $64 million free-agent contract to Timofey Mozgov to hold down the center position for the team. Mozgov is nowhere near the player Cousins is, but acquiring yet another pricey center doesn’t sound like general manager Mitch Kupchak’s best option.

Los Angeles may indeed be desperate enough to get their hands on a player of Cousins’ caliber that they would be willing to make Mozgov a $64 million backup, in addition to sending out a multi-player package to bring DeMarcus Cousins to Staples Center. It doesn’t make good sense from a pure basketball standpoint, but the Lakers need a marquee name to be the face of their franchise going forward, and they don’t currently have that player on the roster.

On the surface, the Sacramento Kings getting four players and a first-round draft pick sounds enticing, but it may not be such a good haul for Sacramento. Julius Randle is definitely a nice piece, and the Lakers’ first-round pick next year will probably be in the top 10. However, all of the other players mentioned in the proposed trade are either very similar to players the Kings already have, or they simply don’t add much value to the offer. If this is the best that the Lakers and Nuggets can do, Sacramento would likely pull the plug on dealing DeMarcus Cousins to Los Angeles.

The Denver Nuggets play a small role in this three-team deal, but they could be the team that most wants this trade to go through. Wilson Chandler is a steady performer, but Rudy Gay is a more dynamic offensive force, and Denver would get a draft pick as well. Since the Nuggets already have Danilo Gallinari at the ‘three’ position, this would be a very minor move for Denver, but one could argue that this portion of the three-team trade makes more sense than the much larger exchange between the Lakers and Kings.

Even though there are several big-name players involved in this NBA trade rumor, it really doesn’t appear to help any of the teams in a significant way. The Nuggets might enjoy a slight upgrade with Rudy Gay, but the Lakers and Kings might not be any better overall after these seven players switch uniforms. Another issue at hand is that Los Angeles has already dealt their 2017 first-round draft choice in a previous trade with Philadelphia (protected for selections one through three), so league rules would not allow the rumored inclusion of this draft choice, per information obtained from Real GM.

Some NBA trade rumors make a great deal of sense for the teams involved, and some simply don’t add up. This potential deal between Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Denver looks flashy at first glance, but this isn’t a home run for any of the teams rumored to be in on these trade discussions. Additionally, the Lakers can’t include their first-round pick next year as the rumor states, so the proposed deal, as it is configured in this rumored scenario, completely falls apart.

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