Latest On Mavs' Interest In DeMarcus Cousins

In February, we wrote about DeMarcus Cousins being on the Mavs' 'Future-Type Player' wish list. A lot has changed with the Kings since then. Has anything changed in regards to the Mavs' desire for the knuckleheaded young talent? Come inside to look into what a source calls 'the two holes' ...

In February, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told us of a trade-deadline scenario that could lead to the team's pursuit of a "future-type player.''

"It would have to be something really, really, really good," Cuban said when asked about taking on a bad contract in order to facilitate the acquisition of a good player. "It's got to be a future-type player that we can build around and really adds a lot. I'd analogize it to Steve Nash. Lots of players we've picked up over time weren't All-Stars, but turned into cornerstones. We'd take those. They don't have to be proven, but it'd have to be someone we think it's just a question of time."

We recently expanded on a related concept here, giving you names of acquire-able players who might be "on the lip of the cup'' of stardom.''

There is a common theme here. Short of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, who might be the "next'' among what Cuban says includes "thousands'' of ways to improve.

DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento fir the mold then. He fits the mold now.

There are reports of Dallas' interest in Cousins and the reports are accurate.

Many obstacles to Cousins remain the same. The biggest one? His level of knuckleheadedness is high; his ability to be a future star (he averaged 17/10 this year) is matched by his ability to misbehave himself out of basketball (he led the NBA in t's with 17). Dallas believes Rick Carlisle can "coach him up,'' that Rick's experience dealing with young knuckleheads represents a winning track record. (A P.S. here: Carlisle is close to Paul Westphal, who tried -- and failed -- to lead Cousins in Sacto. I'm sure the coaches have compared notes.)

But yes, you must work through stuff like this:

And all this good with the one bad:

A Mavs source tells "there are two holes'' -- not in the story of Dallas' interest, which has been accurate since February, but "two holes'' in trying to piece together a true connection.

1) If Sacto decides to open up the bidding for Cousins, Cleveland (a suitor, as reported by Chad Ford) can blow Dallas' offer out of the water. The Cavs can offer the No. 1 pick and a player, and will have the cap room to take back ballast (the same sort of ballast Cuban alludes to above).

What will Dallas offer? That's never been pinned down as a part of this story, but offering pick No. 13 vs. what Cleveland can do obviously doesn't fly.

2) Just as Dallas envisions Cousins being "fixed'' in a new environment, the new ownership in Sacramento has ever reason to believe the same thing. The Mavs see Cousins' upside; why wouldn't new ownership see the same thing, be intrigued by the same thing, have confidence it can offer the same thing? The new ownership will be handpicking a new GM and a new coach; there might be wisdom in choosing leadership designed in part to get the most of a team's best player.

This is a "Plan B'' option behind Paul/Dwight and always has been, dating back to February. But the Mavs themselves are conceding to that "there are two holes'' ... a hint of how close Dallas is to this but also how far away.

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