Hello and welcome to the Evening News.
As the playoffs continue, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?
Here’s the latest from around the league:
Cousins in high demand from several teams
Chad Ford of ESPN reports that several teams have expressed interest in trading for the Kings’ Demarcus Cousins. Atop the list of teams that are interested are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats, and Dallas Mavericks.
As we reported earlier today, Cleveland would be willing to trade the draft’s top pick if the right offer came their way. It has yet to be determined whether the Cavaliers would consider a package built around Cousins to be “the right offer.”
With a new ownership group in Sacramento, the Kings may very well look to completely rebuild the roster. If that is the case, Cousins will probably be one of the first players to go. Beyond his obvious talent and potential trade return, Cousins’ character and commitment to Sacramento have been in question throughout his tenure and the team would like to trade him while his value is still high.
Acquiring a top pick to pair with their seventh overall selection would certainly brighten the Sacramento’s future.
Ford believes that the Kings would be willing to trade Cousins for Charlotte’s fourth overall pick. Michael Jordan would love to add a young interior player to his team’s nucleus and Cousins, at only 22, has proved to be effective in the paint when motivated.
As for Dallas, the belief is that the Mavericks will only look to acquire Cousins if they fail to lure either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul in free agency. While Mark Cuban may consider Cousins to be his team’s “Plan C” for the summer, the truth is that Sacramento will probably look to acquire more for Cousins than what Dallas can offer.
Magic and Clippers discussing trade?
Chad Ford also reports that the Orlando Magic are highly interested in the Clippers’ Eric Bledsoe and would be willing to trade Arron Afflalo to Los Angeles to acquire him.
Although the Magic own the second overall pick in the draft and like Trey Burke, they aren’t sure whether Burke is worth such a high draft pick.
If the Magic are also willing to take back Caron Butler’s expiring contract in a Bledsoe trade, the two teams might find compatibility.
Afflalo, the Orlando’s closest thing to a star entering this past season, would give the Clippers a more conventionally sized shooting guard to pair with Chris Paul on the perimeter. Moreover, at 38% from three for his career, Afflalo could help Los Angeles space the floor on offense.
If Orlando does manage to acquire Bledsoe, the team could then target either Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo to replace Afflalo on the wing with the second pick.
Afflalo, a former standout at UCLA, would probably welcome a trade from the lowly Magic to the contending Clippers. Meanwhile, with Chris Paul likely to stay in Los Angeles, the Clippers will need to decide quickly on Bledsoe’s future with the team.
Executives believe the Bucks prefer Ellis to Jennings
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, several executives believe that the Milwaukee Bucks would rather keep Monta Ellis than Brandon Jennings heading into free agency.
Jennings will be a restricted free agent this summer and has been publicly indecisive about wanting to return to the team. Ellis, meanwhile, has a player option for $11 million next season which he is unlikely to accept.
Jennings reportedly turned down a four year, $40 million contract from the Bucks before the start of last season.
Milwaukee’s third guard, J.J. Redick, whom they acquired from Orlando at February’s trade deadline, will also be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The team has a strong interest in re-signing Redick to a long term contract and believes that he can be their starting shooting guard for years to come.
Jennings, 23, averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists last season while the 27-year-old Ellis averaged 19.2 points and 6.0 assists.
The Bucks won 38 games in the regular season and were then swept by the Heat in four games in the first round of the playoffs.