For nearly 10 years, the Sacramento Kings have been a largely irrelevant NBA franchise. Ever since they were bounced out of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in 2006, their only contribution to the national basketball landscape has consisted of two things: a potential move to Seattle and drafting DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins out of Kentucky with the fifth overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft.
Now, future hall of famer George Karl is trying to trade him away, according to Yahoo. One problem, neither his owner, Vivek Ranadivé, nor the vice president of basketball and franchise operations, Vlade Divac, want him to do it. That’s probably because Cousins is the lone draw that team has, outside of maybe Rudy Gay. Quizzically, rumors have swirled that the Kings are interested in Rajon Rondo.
Echoing the @CarmichaelDave similar report, sources have reported multiple instances of Pete D polling people ‘Karl or Cousins’ for months.
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) June 23, 2015
To call this a franchise in disarray at this point, feels like an understatement. Cousins, who’s had his issues as a professional, is a great player. He’s gone from the all-rookie team in 2011 to an NBA all-star and the all-NBA second team last season. Rondo was basically paid to not play in Dallas, because he was so unpopular with the Mavericks. His teammates even voted for him NOT to get a playoff share of their bonus money.
Of note is that Karl was hired less than six months ago, and is reportedly already trying to run his best young player out of town, while trying to bring on one of the most notorious headcases in the league.
It’s not the first time Karl has irked one of his star players. The drama between he and Carmelo Anthony is something from which the Nuggets still haven’t recovered. Cousins took to Twitter Monday night to air his frustrations, revisiting a popular theme of “snakes in the grass” that has followed Karl for years.
So, what exactly is going on here? Did Ranadivé get in bed with the wrong legendary NBA coach and end up ruining his franchise? It looks like it. Karl is basically hanging around the league to chase Don Nelson’s career wins record. He was on the market after being fired just after winning the coach of the year award with the Nuggets in 2013.
Yet, with the NBA draft just two days away, and the Kings owning the sixth pick, you’d hope to have your coach, owner and player personnel folks on the same page. There was a time when the Kings were the most fun franchise in the league. Now, they look like the most dysfunctional.