When asked about his good friend and former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins’s possible trade demand, John Wall wasn’t allowed to give an elaborate comment after the Wizards’ 94-86 loss to Boston.
A Wizards staffer interrupted the questioner, leading to an awkward pause before Wall eventually said, “I heard about it, but I don’t know what’s going on.”
There certainly is some confusion about whether or not Cousins actually asked out of Sacramento. Kings Coach Paul Westphal said he did – twice – but Cousin’s agent, John Greig, told SI.com that it never happened.
If Cousins wants to be traded or is once again being misunderstood, one thing is clear: the Kings have no intention of trading the talented but temperamental 6-foot-11 big man.
So Wizards fans hoping to see Wall and Cousins team up in Washington, and even those dreading the possibility, can relax.
A source with knowledge of the Kings’ thinking reiterated on Monday that they are “not moving” Cousins.
The Wizards are well aware of the Kings’ intentions to keep Cousins. According a source with knowledge of the Wizards’ thinking, the team actually contacted Sacramento last season and inquired about the availability of Cousins. They made another obligatory call - as several teams did - on Monday and were informed that Sacramento has no intention of moving him, though Cousins has displayed immature behavior since arriving with the Kings as the fifth overall pick in 2010 – he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team after arguing with coaches and also had an altercation with Donte Greene.
Westphal issued a terse statement – complete with an exclamation point for emphasis – claiming that Cousins demanded a trade. He said Cousins “continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team.”
Westphal later told reporters in Sacramento on Sunday that Cousins requested to be moved twice – on Dec. 24 and again after the team loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.
A source close to Cousins said late Sunday night that Westphal “twisted his words” but Yahoo! Sports quoted an anonymous Kings player saying that he overhead Cousins shouting, “Trade me now!”
Westphal said the Kings will give Cousins a chance to return, but “if he doesn’t want to be here then we have a lot of guys that will be going the same direction.”
Pairing Wall and Cousins would make some sense given their history and Cousins’ familiarity with the District. He spends his offseasons working out in the area and considers “D.C. home.” A reunion could also help Wall find a little more joy during an already uninspiring season. Coach Flip Saunders may not want another volatile or mercurial talent after dealing with Rasheed Wallace in Detroit and Gilbert Arenas in Washington, but if any player can motivate and bring out the best in Cousins, it’s Wall.
It’s just not happening anytime soon.