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Shelburne: Suns are one of two teams with ‘all the assets right now’

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
LISTEN: Ramona Shelburne, NBA Insider & Senior Writer

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Tuesday afternoon the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings have had discussions about a trade involving DeMarcus Cousins.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne joined Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM early Tuesday evening and said that the Suns do have a lot to offer the Kings if they are indeed interested in pursing the All-Star center.

“There’s two teams that have all the assets right now; the Suns and the Celtics, right?” Shelburne said. “When do they get off the sideline and push some chips in the middle of the table? We’ll see.”

Gambadoro reported that the trade talks are centered around forward T.J. Warren, center Alex Len, Phoenix’s first round pick this year and possibly more.

The Suns have a plethora of young talent that could interest many teams. They have set themselves up well for the future by spending just over $80 million on salaries, while holding all of their own future draft picks and two future Miami Heat first round picks, thanks to the trade that sent Goran Dragic to South Beach.

Only three teams in the NBA have more cap room than the Suns.

The question on everybody’s minds that Shelburne asked herself is, “In the right setting, would he thrive?”

Cousins is enjoying his highest scoring average in a single season since being drafted with the fifth overall pick by the Kings in 2010. He is scoring 28.4 points per game in 47 contests this year, while averaging 10.6 rebounds.

On the flip side, Cousins has had many recent problems both off and on the court. He has 105 career technical fouls and 15 already this season, two away from tying his career-high. He has been suspended multiple times in the past, including one two-game suspension after confronting a color commentator of the opposing team.

Teams who are afraid of adding a locker room cancer will likely not think twice about passing on him, but a Suns team that has lacked an explosive force in the paint in recent years might be willing to roll the dice on the 26-year-old.

“If he were to agree to go to a team and do an extension with wherever he’s traded, or if that ends up coming (in Phoenix), then he does hold a lot of value. But if he doesn’t sort of commit behind the scenes to signing with any potential team, then he doesn’t have as much trade value, right?

“And it’s really interesting to watch because who in Sacramento is the reason why he’s still there? I think you would say the owner Vivek Ranadivé, right? Other people there are more open to listening to offers because quite frankly, they haven’t been winning with him.

“I don’t know who’s calling the final shots there.”

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