The lone bright spot in a Kings' 2014-15 season consumed by coaching changes and distractions was center DeMarcus Cousins.
The fifth-year big man posted career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and blocks, and was the Kings' first All-Star selection since Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic in 2003-04.
But Cousins' name appeared in trade rumors late in the season, with one report linking him to the Boston Celtics.
On April 13, prior the Kings' game against the Lakers, head coach George Karl spoke with the media candidly about the team's willingness to make trades.
"I think we can make a big step next year. As an organization, we have to be aware of what if? What if we get offered (a good trade)? What if? That’s Pete and Vlade’s (Divac) area of expertise," Karl told the media.
"I’ve had some great players and I’ve never had one player that I have said is untradeable,” Karl added. “You always got to be ready for the possibility of a great trade that could come your way."
“I know I respect him (DeMarcus Cousins) a tremendous amount . . . I think our give and take and our communication has been almost on a daily basis...until we can really get to a special place together, I think we’ve got to continue to communicate, what he wants and what I want.”
On Tuesday night, prior to the NBA Draft Lottery, Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac was a guest on SiriusXM NBA Radio and poured cold water on the idea that Cousins might be on the trade block.
“Well, I think, you know, Coach kind of step it up further than he should and, of course, everybody has their opinion but right now, if we’re talking about today, yeah, DeMarcus is untradeable. He’s a guy who we’re going to try to build around and see where he’s going to take us," Divac said.
Cousins signed a max-contract extension on September 30, 2013 and has three years and $47.2 million left on his deal.
The Kings were awarded the No. 6 overall pick in the lottery on Tuesday and will look to add an impact player to the roster to help Cousins.
In Rotoworld.com's first Mock Draft released Tuesday morning, the Kings are projected to take point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China this past season.