• Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside.

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside. (Photo : Getty Images)

The NBA trade rumors are heating up as the DeMarcus Cousins trade is getting warmer.

In Zach Lowe's podcast at ESPN, senior writer Marc Stein mentioned, "at this point all signs are that they still want to stick with 'Boogie' but around the League I think other teams, their feeling is 'they are going to move him by February.'"

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Lowe himself cited league sources that the Kings are "starting to get sick of Cousins" but it's difficult to see how the Kings decide.

"I mean no one knows who's making the decisions from the ownership level, not who's making the decisions, but there's just so many voices among ownership. They have a million minority owners," Lowe said.

Nevertheless, various trade scenarios have been concocted with Cousins usually for the Boston Celtics or forming a superteam with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the point of view of those trade scenarios is on the team that would get Cousins.

At this point, the Kings do not need to trade Cousins so they can still call the shots. This situation may change later on when Boogie becomes an expiring contract or if he requests a trade, but for now, the offer has to please the Kings.

As Cousins is a superstar center, a package in return should at least have a star big man or someone who has the potential to become one.

Hassan Whiteside was the name most associated with Cousins a year ago, as Sheridan Hoops writer Michael Scotto (now with Basketball Insiders) stated that the Miami Heat will trade Whiteside for Cousins. However, Whiteside was an expiring contract at that time and it was thought that the Heat would not be able to retain him. No one expected that they would be willing to let go of Dwyane Wade to do so.

The Kings could accept Whiteside as consolation for Cousins especially now that he's on a newly-minted contract. Sacramento is not a free agent destination and it's likely the Kings would agree to replace Cousins with Whiteside if only for the contract security. They would probably ask for Justise Winslow in return.

Another piece that the Kings could consider giving up Cousins for is Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. He has shown potential to be a star big man, but Sacramento will ask for a "Kings' ransom" from the Pacers to pay for the discrepancy between "potential star big man" and "best center in the NBA."

DeMarcus Cousins is not a Larry Bird type of player, but recently, Paul George declined a maximum extension offer from the team which could mean that he is not satisfied with the direction of the team. Acquiring Cousins would pair him with another legit star. The Pacers could lose a lot of assets to make the deal, but if that's what it would take to keep Paul George, it could be worth it.