In using the second overall pick to select D'Angelo Russell the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off perhaps the shock of the 2015 NBA Draft.
Opting for the talented former Ohio State star rather than Kentucky big man, Jahlil Okofor, it looked like the Lakers were backing Russell to become a star of the future for the franchise.
Now, though, new reports suggest there could be an ulterior motive behind the Lakers' point guard pick - a motive that will polarize their fan base.
According to Mark Heisler of the New York Daily News, the Lakers are ready and willing to give up D'Angelo Russell in a trade move that would bag them DeMarcus Cousins from Sacramento.
"[The Lakers] would send Russell up there tomorrow if that would do it, a league source told me."
The Lakers' interest in Boogie Cousins has long been in the public domain and, despite the Kings' insistence that their star big man isn't going anywhere, the LA franchise are expected to keep up the heat throughout the summer.
Indeed, the Lakers' decision to pass on Jahlil Okofor at number two in the draft was a further indication of their plans to go after a big man in free agency or via a trade this offseason. There has already been talk they would happily part with 2014 picks Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle to get a deal done.
Using D'Angelo Russell as a make weight in any deal is a whole other level, though. Russell is seen by many as possessing the biggest ceiling in the 2015 draft class and Lakers fans have been quick to praise the pick.
Too far apart
To send him to Sacramento for the at-times controversial Cousins would be a win-now philosophy but a philosophy that has its own risks.
Fortunately for those Lakers fans hoping to see Russell star for the team for years to come it doesn't look like the Kings are going to budge over Cousins.
Heisler went on to note that Sacramento are doing their best to scare of interest from Los Angeles and the only offer they are even willing to consider is a stunning trade that would see LA give up all three of Russell, Clarkson and Randle as well as future draft picks.
LA might be willing to trade D'Angelo Russell but not for that price.
Lakers fans: Would you give up Russell for a proven star like Cousins? Let us know in the comments below...
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