Why Kings need to fleece Lakers with DeMarcus Cousins trade

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Future of Kings Star DeMarcus Cousins

The Sacramento Kings are trying to figure how to fix the gaping hole in the hull of their ship following an explosive week that saw DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl square off. It a wasn't direct showdown, but the Kings, Karl and Cousins have found themselves in a Tarantino Mexican standoff where not everyone will live to tell the tale.

Enter the Los Angeles Lakers, who are more than willing arbitrators in the situation.

When trouble started to brew in Sac-Town between Karl and Cousins, the Lakers immediately jumped into the middle of things begging to be the factor that fixes the situation. The Lakers element in this whole equation took an interesting turn on Sunday when it was reported that the Lakers would be willing to send No. 2 overall pick D'Angelo Russell to Sacramento for DeMarcus Cousins.

Simply put, this needs to happen.

If the Lakers are seriously willing to hand over the best point guard in the draft to the Kings for Cousins, Vivek Ranadive needs to get on the phone and make this happen. It's a trade that could not only alleviate the tension surrounding the Kings but give them the pieces they have been looking for to crawl out of the basement in the West.

Look, trading a 24-year old All-Star big man is not a snap decision, it takes some convincing to muster up the courage to do that. So far, the Lakers have been flat out begging and not offering anything of value to land Cousins. That all changed when they drafted Russell No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft, as they now have the pieces to land Cousins they didn't have before.

Sacramento is being stubborn on this deal, refusing it unless it's a monster blockbuster — and they're right to hold out. Cousins is a superstar in the making and could be one of the best big men in the NBA a few years from now. He took leaps forward in his development last season and his future involvement with Team USA is only going to help his growth.

But the Kings need more than just one good player, they need a solid roster of talent tin order to win. They haven't had anything remotely close to that while they've had Cousins and free agents aren't necessarily flocking to Sac-Town to play with him. That's not to say a roster won't be compiled in the coming years, but the Kings are much closer to winning than the Lakers are and if Los Angeles wants to mortgage it's future for Cousins, Sacramento can't say no to that.

One thing that the Kings have been sorely lacking since the Mike Bibby era is a point guard, and that can change if they acquire Russell. You need big men to succeed in the NBA but you need a superstar point guard to win. Just like NFL teams win with star quarterbacks, NBA teams that are consistently contenders have superstar guards.

Look no further than the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards as examples of this. The Hornets are a dumpster fire most of the year, but Kemba Walker willed them into the postseason last year while John Wall has taken his time to develop into a superstar that has taken the Wizards deep into the playoffs in consecutive years.

OKC has Russell Westbrook, the Cavaliers have Kyrie Irving, Chicago has Derrick Rose and Steph Curry won an NBA title and an MVP with Golden State playing the star guard role.

If the Lakers want to part with Russell, that could be an instant fix to the Kings need for a star guard that puts them on the map and gets them talented return. Of course, they need to hold out and try to land Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, but getting only one or two of those players could jar the Kings onto a winning path.

Trading DeMarcus Cousins is a worst-case scenario for the Kings, but the Lakers are presenting a potential deal that could swap out a superstar big man for young assets that might return us to the 'Greatest Show on Court' years of Kings basketball.

Cousins is a golden ticket, but how will Sacramento choose to cash in? That's a question on which the future of the franchise hinges.

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