The Kings finished the season with a 33-49 record, missing the playoffs for the 10th year in a row. The team fired head coach George Karl after one season at the helm in which there was obvious conflict with star center DeMarcus Cousins.
But Karl's ouster doesn't necessarily signal Sacramento's committment to Cousins. According to a report by the Sacramento Bee, general manager Vlade Divac is considering trading the All-Star big man for the first time.
A year ago, Cousins was untouchable. A year later, the sense within the organization is Divac is tempted by the prospect of pairing his center with his personally selected coach but that he has become increasingly frustrated by his center’s ongoing issues and, for the first time, is willing to test the market for the two-time All-Star.
Karl has plenty of company. The disconnect between Karl and Divac, and Karl and Cousins, is rivaled closely by the discord within the fragmented locker room. Apart from Rondo, Cousins has few friends among his teammates. Several players privately have complained to management about his mood swings and disrespect for those around him, including his coaches and in particular Karl.
It's hard to imagine the Kings going through with a move to ship their best player out of Sacramento, but they may be hoping to scare him straight. Years of insisting to the media that Cousins wasn't going anywhere likely emboldened, and possibly exhacerbated, moody behavior.
But if Divac is serious about moving on, he'll find no shortage of suitors for the two-time All-Star center.
First in line would be Wizards fans, who have been vocal about wanting to reunite point guard John Wall with his former Kentucky teammate and close friend, Cousins.
There's a lot to love about Cousins' game, obviously. He averaged 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game last season, and he's not even a liability at the free throw line (71.8%). But his volatility shows on the court -- he gives inconsistent effort on defense and led the NBA in technical fouls last season with 17.
Sacramento will be asking for a lot in return for one of the game's best big men. And the Wizards, for their part, don't have a whole lot to offer with only six players under contract (seven if you assume they re-sign Bradley Beal).
This is a watch and wait situation.