From Cowbell Kingdom:
“Like I said, all along I’m trying to create an environment here,” Smart told reporters after Saturday practice. ”And we all gotta move forward to making sure that we do everything we can to keep that environment in the right direction. And when any player goes beyond that, then there’s going to be consequences to that. And I thought last night, it moved in that direction.”
Via the full report, Cousins and head coach Keith Smart got into a heated verbal exchange at halftime of Friday’s affair against L.A. Judging from Smart’s comments, however, this seems to be more a disciplinary response to something incidental rather than anything approaching a built-up ‘final straw’, as I had originally assumed. Cousins has had his ongoing issues, but I’m not sure this makes it any more likely that the Kings deal him.
But what if I’m wrong? What if the Kings decide they’ve had enough? Would the Rockets pursue? The most important question might lie in determining what other teams would have interest. That would help arrive at a market value for the mercurial forward.
Furthermore, have the Terrence Williams and Royce White sagas taught management anything? Or were those unique circumstances with lesser upside?
Had the Harden trade not happened, I think you’d see Houston take that risk for the same reason they took the risk on the aforementioned wings. They had a different assessment of ‘risk’ when needing to catch lighting in a bottle. Now, with Harden and friends, they can be more conservative. They can sit back and do things the ideal way because they already have their foundation. (I think you’ll see the team draft differently as well. They won’t try to go out-of-the-box with the Marcus Morris/Royce White types anymore, but rather, will approach things with more convention.) They no longer need to scramble for every possible bargain.
Who might have interest? I don’t know. [A thought came to me though: if you're Danny Ainge, you make this happen. You trade Jeff Green and Avery Bradley for other parts and send those to Sacramento. Kevin Garnett is the one guy in this league who I think can get through to Cousins and if that's a possibility, they have to try to make it happen, for their future.]
How much do you offer if you’re Houston? I think I’d limit it to one of Morris/Patterson, with one of Motiejunas/Jones, along with Royce White and perhaps a future draft pick. Not ‘selling the farm’, but probably not the best offer to be had.
More as it comes.