Well, that didn’t take long. It’s probably true that the DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors never truly go away, but a 4-8 start by the Sacramento Kings certainly haven’t helped quiet the rumor mill.

The fact that star forward Rudy Gay made it public that he wanted out months ago can’t help, either. As long as the Kings keep losing and any other players want out, the DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors are bound to persist.

Except this time it feels a little different. This time it feels like something could actually happen.

The issue with the man known as Boogie has always been that he doesn’t have the greatest attitude and that with him, the Kings probably aren’t every really going to get anywhere. It’s tough to know which way to lean on that, as at it’s core it’s quite subjective.

The talent is there. The production is there. DeMarcus Cousins is still just 26 years old and he can bang down low with anyone, en route to his nightly 26 points and 10 rebounds per game. In every way, the kid is elite. But the Kings aren’t winning and they don’t have the pieces to turn it around.

With Boogie’s deal drying up in two years, the Kings have to finally get real and ask themselves if they are willing to surround their best player with a winning supporting cast, or if they’re willing to let Boogie walk for nothing. Odds are, Cousins is not signing back on with an organization that has run itself into the ground with horrible drafting, bad trades, and even worse signings.

The only good thing the Kings have done since Boogie came into the fray is bring on current head coach David Joerger. Perhaps that means they’re headed in the direction. Maybe a soon to come Rudy Gay trade will help get that supporting cast up to snuff.

It’s just doubtful. Sacramento is running out of time to appease Cousins and it’s beginning to look like they may not even want to.

If that’s really the case, we need to start thinking about options. Here’s five potential suitors that just might try to swing a DeMarcus Cousins trade this year:

Boston Celtics

Boston has been the spot that has made the most sense the entire time. They did just sign Al Horford and have a great nucleus, but they still lack that true star to get them over the hump. After a sluggish 6-5 start, it’s fair to wonder if Brad Stevens and co. make a big move to get them back up and going in the right direction.

After all, it does make sense:

Per ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, a swap of Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder for Boogie would work by the numbers. If Boston could sweeten the deal with a couple of draft picks, it might be something the Kings consider. After all, Sacramento has a plethora of young bigs. Their main issue would be bringing on glue guys, shooters and players that could defend.

Los Angeles Lakers

DeMarcus Cousins to the Lakers have been a longstanding rumor with admittedly very little merit. It’s unclear how badly the Kings want to move their star center, and it’s not really known if L.A. sees him as the big fix to their rebuilding project.

Either way, the Lakers are slowly on the rise and have a ton of young talent to play with. If they wanted, they could at least consider packaging some of that talent in an effort to land Cousins and try competing for a playoff spot right now, while also building for the future at the same time.

Any trade before December wouldn’t be enough to get the Kings to bite. Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and/or D’Angelo Russell would surely have to be part of any trade, while the Lakers would probably want to unload guys like Jose Calderon and/or Timofey Mozgov if they were bringing in Boogie. They’d have to wait until after December for a trade involving the latter two to become eligible.

Still, the Lakers have some nice young talent and arguably too many bodies, so they remain a realistic trade partner if the Kings like anything they have and are willing to wait.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are in an interesting spot, as they don’t necessarily appear to be a title contender as they stand, but they also don’t seem to be that far away. They have a ton of assets they don’t need at the moment and have a starting five that can be competitive with just about anyone each night out.

Adding DeMarcus Cousins could simply put them over the top and at least make them a viable threat to be the #2 team in the Eastern Conference, behind the Cavs.

Getting Boogie over Robin Lopez would be an enormous upgrade, so this is a deal the Bulls could certainly explore.

One interesting trade the Bulls could consider is sending as package of Robin Lopez, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine for Cousins. Those three guys alone don’t look like a powerful trio, but in return for Boogie, the Kings get three guys that could potentially start right away. Valentine could replace a likely departing Rudy Gay, Lopez could start at center and Portis could start at power forward. Chicago would undoubtedly need to include some picks and maybe one more young player, but the core of this deal works.

Houston Rockets

If the Rockets are serious about winning right now, they may have to do more than just ride James Harden’s coattails at the point. It might be weird to pitch the idea of them acquiring another stud big man after the Dwight Howard experiment, but Boogie’s perimeter game might make this a totally different circumstance.

The Rockets have some very nice pieces they’d ultimately have to cough up, of course, but if they were willing to let go of Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley and Clint Capela, the numbers suggest this deal could go down. It might actually take a little more spice, like waiting until December to unload Ryan Anderson or parting with tantalizing young forward Sam Deker (as well as some picks), but the core could get discussions started.

Milwaukee Bucks

Last, but possibly not least, are the Bucks. They really don’t want Greg Monroe anymore. That became obvious with a recent DNP:

The Greg Monroe trade rumors have been running wild for over a year now, and this could eventually be the perfect scenario for both sides. Moose can still ball, but his defense has always been a question mark. In Sacramento he could start and be a solid double-double threat, and perhaps David Joerger can help him on defense. But Monroe alone wouldn’t pry Boogie out of Sacramento. Instead, the Bucks would have to give up a solid young talent in Jabari Parker, who has really come on strong lately.

As good as Parker has been and ultimately could be, there is a strong argument that suggests shedding Parker to get Cousins will be worth it. This really kills two birds with one stone for Milwaukee, while they can complete this trade by sending Rashad Vaughn and receiving Ben McLemore in the deal. The two sides could also discuss picks or a few other players, but the core of this trade works and could be a great place to start.

DeMarcus Cousins Predictions

Ultimately, we don’t really see DeMarcus Cousins getting traded this year. His best bet does remain the Celtics, who have plenty of assets and have to know that at their current position, they simply have gone about as far as they really can.

Boogie is going to be on the move eventually, as his contract is up in two years and the Kings are going nowhere. Sacramento isn’t going to take a bad offer just to get rid of him, though. He still sells tickets and for the moment, he’s their best chance to push for a playoff spot. If this season continues to go down the tube, however, the DeMarcus Cousin trade rumors could quickly heat up. When they do, the Celtics will be the team to monitor.

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