Denver Nuggets: Trade for DeMarcus Cousins?


The Denver Nuggets currently sit just a half-game out of eighth place in the Western Conference, so could they look to pursue a trade for DeMarcus Cousins to lift them over the hump?

The Denver Nuggets entered the 2015-2016 season with little expectations, especially after the team traded away their star point guard Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets. The Denver Nuggets did not receive much compensation for Lawson, and it made fans wonder if the team was indeed tanking. While tanking would help the Nuggets try to lock up the first pick in the draft, the team looks more impressive than advertised. The team possesses a nice core of players in Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Danilo Gallinari, and Kenneth Faried.

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However, with recent injuries to their big men (Jusuf Nurkic and Joffrey Lauvergne), could the Denver Nuggets pursue a trade for a center? Perhaps, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings? Without Nurkic or Lauvergne able to garner minutes on the court, the Nuggets relied heavily on J.J. Hickson and Nikola Jokic recently; however, neither of these players present much value at the position. Moreover, if the Denver Nuggets want to push for a playoff spot in the upcoming season, they need to strengthen their team on the court.

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Rumors continue to swirl around George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins; thus, many believe one of the two will move out of Sacramento this season. The two cannot co-exist, and with Michael Malone previously coaching the Kings, the Denver Nuggets might look to reunite Cousins with Malone. The Denver Nuggets need an imposing force on the glass, because Faried is undersized for the power forward position. The Nuggets had a chance to complement Faried with Rudy Gobert; however, the team traded Gobert before he could show his true value.

No one questions DeMarcus Cousins’ skill-set; however, people worry about his demeanor and work ethic. Obviously, he and George Karl do not get along, but it remains to be seen who gets shown the door. If the Kings are listening to offers on Cousins, the Denver Nuggets need to put in a strong offer for the highly-touted center. The Nuggets own the Memphis Grizzlies 2016 first round pick (protected); thus, that could be a nice piece of the trade to build off. Although Nurkic and Lauvergne are on the shelf right now, both players show promise to develop into starting-caliber centers.

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DeMarcus Cousins looks like he needs a fresh start in a new place, because his relationship with Karl seems irreparable. Imagine a Denver Nuggets squad boasting a starting five of Mudiay, Harris, Gallinari, Faried, and Cousins. That lineup would surely lock the team into a playoff spot; however, the team would need to focus on establishing a strong second unit to keep up with the first unit’s pace. Do not rule out Cousins and Malone reuniting in the Mile High City.

The move would give Denver Nuggets’ fans a reason to fill up the Pepsi Center; since, they would know the team is working towards a strong playoff push. The Nuggets struggle somewhat on defense; thus, the addition of Cousins makes for the Nuggets to get better both offensively and defensively. If Mudiay linked up with Cousins, the two could run some stellar pick and roll plays and become one of the most feared duos in the NBA. While these are solely rumors, the Denver Nuggets need to get on the phone and see how inclined the Kings are to deal Cousins.

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Keep an eye on the DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl rumors swirling around the NBA, because one of them is going. Moreover, the Kings might be more inclined to deal Cousins, because Karl has an extensive history as being a successful coach in the NBA. While the Denver Nuggets would take on a huge risk in getting a highly-volatile personality like Cousins, the benefits might outweigh the inherent risks. It is time to make some moves and show the Mile High City that the Denver Nuggets are serious about their basketball team.