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Sacramento Kings’ Divac Proclamation Is Smokescreen For DeMarcus Cousins Trade

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We’ve heard this story before, many times, and at this time it is starting to sound ridiculous. Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins’ name has been, again, linked to trade rumors, this time with an actual package outlined and, yet again, the Kings are doing and saying everything to suggest those rumors aren’t legit.

They are claiming that Cousins is not available.

Let’s stop the ridiculousness.

Sacramento’s dreaded Kings organization has been a complete bumbling mess for the past several years, a mess that goes beyond the talent on the court and spreads into the front office. Void of any clear path or direction and absent any clear level-thinking, the Kings continue to say the things that would suggest they are a soundly-run and cohesive organization with an astute eye on the future, but they are not.

That’s why when Kings’ general manager Vlade Divac yet again stated that the team is not trading Cousins, I laughed.

“We’re not trading DeMarcus,” Divac told ESPN. “We hope he’s here for a long time.”

That, my friends, is a smokescreen. A smokescreen because it’s likely Divac wants to find a way for things to workout where Cousins spends his entire career in Sacramento, but that is unlikely. The reality likely is that everyone else in the organization is sick of Cousins, his drama, his antics, his behavior and realizes they aren’t a playoff team with him, and his baggage, so cutting ties with him doesn’t necessarily sacrifice any playoff hopes.

ESPN reported back in January that the Kings already have begun planning to offer Cousins one of the league’s new maximum Designated Player contract extensions — estimated to be in the $219 million range over five seasons — once the league’s new collective bargaining agreement takes effect later this year (July).

Asked by ESPN on Monday about their intentions, Divac responded: “We are going in that direction.”

Sadly, it’s hard to buy what Divac is selling nor is it easy to buy the idea that Cousins wants to remain in Sacramento for the long term.

Amid all the chaos and drama there is the stench of losing and a feeling that the Kings are no closer to mediocrity or success, one that has to make Cousins feel less inclined to stay for the long haul.

One team that has reportedly been in the mix for Cousins is the Phoenix Suns, and it makes a lot of sense on paper.

According to a report last week from arizonasports.com,  Phoenix has pitched an offer headlined by small forward TJ Warren, center Alex Len and a future first-round pick to the Kings for Cousins. The Suns may be willing to give up more, such as Brandon Knight.

That sort of deal would make a lot of sense for Sacramento. They would be receiving a handful of somewhat proven youngsters, a high end draft pick and perhaps more. It allows Sacramento to wipe the slate clean without completely purging their current roster.

So why would Cousins work in Phoenix?

For one, the culture in Phoenix is much different. Cousins’ former teammate Eric Bledsoe is also in Phoenix and the Suns have a nucleus of young talent that may just be a “Cousins” away from annual deep playoff runs.

Cousins has never played alongside talent such as Bledsoe and Devin Booker during his stint in Sacramento. And the Kings have not had a reported offer close to the one as fruitful as the one reportedly made by the Suns.

If the Suns truly believe Cousins can change in Phoenix, if they truly believe in the strength of their organization, their culture, their locker room, chemistry and leadership, than rolling the dice on Cousins is the right move.

If Sacramento is truly dedicated to a bright future, they pick up the phone and negotiate with the Suns. Field calls. Discuss offers.

Otherwise Divac’s statements are simply smokescreens, not for a potential deal in the works, but as a horrible attempt at diversion, poorly directing people from the divide in the organization. It’s clear that there is a divide about Cousins’ long-term future with the Kings and that there are differing opinions.

If Divac stands his ground he isn’t squashing a trade rumor, he is showing the world just how badly run the Kings are and just how foolish they look in trying to convince us all otherwise.

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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NBA

Eagles’ Jalen Mills Arrested

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested in Washington D.C following an altercation with Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson, according to the Associated Press’ Howard Fendrich (via the Washington Post).

Both men were charged with disorderly affray, which is described as fighting in a public place.

According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, a verbal altercation broke out between the two that escalated into a physical fight that took place on the sidewalk.

Robinson was transported to a hospital following the fight with Mills and upon his release he was taken to to department’s 2nd District station where Mills was detained.

Mills and Robinson were “involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to the Opera Night Club” in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the police report.

Both teams have since responded, with the Wizards essentially parting ways with Robinson due to the incident.

“We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season,” the Wizards said in a statement.

The Eagles issued a statement saying that they are “aware of the situation” and “continuing to gather more information.”

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Dallas Mavericks

Mavs’ Kristaps Porzingis Accused of Rape in New York

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Dallas Mavericks big man and former New York Knick Kristaps Porzingis is being investigated back New York for an alleged rape that a woman told police took place sometime last year, according to the New York Post.

The woman, who informed police about the alleged rape on Thursday, says that she waited more than a year to come forward regarding the incident because she had discussed receiving $68,000 from Porzingis to keep quiet.

Roland G. Riopelle, the attorney for Porzingis, has since denied the allegations and has said they had previously referred the case to federal authorities due to the “accuser’s extortionate demands.”

“We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations,” Riopelle said. “We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association.”

The woman alleges that the incident took place on February 7th, 2018, at the Sky building in New York, where Porzingis lived, just hours following Porzingis suffering a torn ACL, the injury that has kept him off the court for more than a year.

An NBA spokesman said the league is aware of the situation while the Knicks’ team spokesperson said; “This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stated that the team is aware of the situation but “we have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment.”

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks had informed the Mavericks of the pending Porzingis rape allegations during a trade call with NBA headquarters, that took place on January 31st,  that finalized the deal that sent Porzingis to the Mavericks.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department issued the following: “The NYPD takes sexual assault and all rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors.”

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Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Says Fans Have Called Him ‘N—-r’, Says He’s Reported it to League

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Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins is speaking out about how NBA fans treat players, revealing that fans have called him the N-word during games and stating that he had reported the incidents to the league.

Cousins discussed the incidents during an interview with Chris Haynes on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast:

“Oh, I’ve been called n—-r, and it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back, and I was still punished for it. But obviously it became a bigger issue when it was Russ [Westbrook] and he was still fined for it. I don’t really understand it. We’re the product. We push this league. So, I don’t understand. When does our safety, when does, it become important?”

While Cousins spoke candidly about his experiences, he did not specific which cities in which he heard the racial slurs.

“I don’t really want to, because I’m not really trying to put a label on an entire fan base” Cousins said when discussing which cities he heard the slurs. T”here are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that. [NBA] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be. But how many times am I supposed to ignore that? Me coming from where I come from [Mobile, Alabama]. They lucky all they got was a response.”

While Cousins did not mention any cities or teams, Haynes reported that one city was Sacramento, where Cousins spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings.

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