ESPN: Pistons 'highly interested' in trading for DeMarcus Cousins

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Marc Stein reports that the Pistons are interested in malcontent Sacramento big man. Does any actual deal make sense?

Perhaps it was inevitable. After reportedly working so hard to trade up in the 2010 draft to try and select DeMarcus Cousins, it should come as no surprise that now that the big man is being mentioned in possible trades people assume the Detroit Pistons are interested.

The latest rumor comes straight from the worldwide leader, as ESPN's Marc Stein had this to say:

Front-office sources say that Boston and Detroit, just to name two teams, have let it be known that they are highly interested if and when Cousins does become available. Rest assured there will be more.

While Stein makes it sound like an affirmation of interest since Cousins had his latest falling out with his team and coach, it could just be the residual effect of the Pistons' longstanding interest.

Joe Dumars made no secret of his affection for the big man even though everyone knew he came with a host of red flags, including for a fiery temper that looks to have burned plenty of bridges in Sacto. And Pistons fans were certainly interested in Cousins coming to Motown, especially when it seemed that they would be stuck selecting Ekpe Udoh at No. 7.

Instead Cousins went to the Kings, got a coach fired, doesn't get along with his replacement and was recently suspended for insubordination. The Pistons, meanwhile, settled for the "consolation prize" of Greg Monroe. Monroe and Cousins are neck and neck as far as performance on the court through their first two-plus seasons with the Moose having the advantage of 1. A better nickname (sorry "Boogie") and 2. Doesn't have the personality baggage.

But, of course, the Pistons need to think about more than just who is better -- Cousins or Monroe. They also must factor in whether they can get additional assets considering Cousins' stock is low and also, and most importantly, who fits best next to Andre Drummond.

The rookie from UConn has been amazingly productive in his first season in Detroit, and the Pistons must prioritize finding a running mate that works well with Drummond. They think they have that fit in Monroe but would Cousins fit even better?

And, considering Monroe and Drummond are so similar talent-wise, with Monroe the superior offensive player (and I would argue better player overall) and Cousins being the better defender, could you get even more assets out of the Kings in order to facilitate a deal? A pick, another young player, or unload some salary obligation?

It's probably not worth exploring those ideas too deeply -- at least not yet. This remains just a trade rumor and I still peg the likelihood of Cousins being dealt at less than 25 percent.

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