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Rockets, DeMarcus Cousins Inevitably Linked

I am not the first person to discuss the possibility of the Houston Rockets pouncing on DeMarcus Cousins now that he's possibly, maybe available after being publicly lambasted by his coach. At least three people smarter than me in basketball matters have already covered things in detail.

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To become a key player for the Rockets, Cousins will have some growing up to do on the court. But, as Tom Martin over at Dream Shake pointed out, he has no off-court issues to worry about. It's all about his maturity as a basketball player.

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With all the justification and side issues out of the way, let's get down to something no one has discussed much (probably because this isn't even a rumor yet). What would it take to get Cousins back in trade? Well, let's go to Bill Simmons' favorite invention, the Trade Machine, to see what trades make sense.

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First of all, the Rockets could trade just draft picks to Sacto and use the trade exception they still have for Shane Battier to cover his salary. They're also still under the salary cap, though Cousins would eat up about half of their available space.

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Of course, it doesn't seem likely that the Kings would let Cousins go for a couple of the Rockets' stockpiled first round picks. How about a trade I floated to a friend last night that's picking him up for 10 cents on the dollar? Terrence Williams and Jordan Hill for Cousins works under the cap but, even if you assume the Rockets would throw in a first round pick, it's still not much in return for a talent like Cousins.

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After that, things get tricky. See, the Kings likely won't take Scola or KMart back due to their salaries, so the Rockets would have to find another trading partner for those pieces and get young players in return. Who makes sense? Not sure at this point, since most of the teams that make sense would also make sense to just trade for Cousins themselves.

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It's all speculation at this point, but it's fun speculation.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.