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Will Kings disarray spur renewed trade talks?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are increasingly a mess.  They are 3-6 since Mike Malone was fired, 3-4 since DeMarcus Cousins returned to health. Cousins has looked like his old self --not a good thing-- when he tossed Marcus Smart to the floor like he was a rag doll on New Year's Eve, earning himself an ejection.

It doesn't end there.

  • DMC is reportedly upset with the firing of Malone, itself a head-scratcher, and isn't playing up to par, particularly on defense, as a result.
  • The Kings quietly (secretly?) signed Ty Corbin for the rest of the season, failing to tell the team's players, who found out from the media.
  • And after starting 31 straight games at power forward, Jason Thompson --one of four players rumored to be headed to Brooklyn-- was replaced by Ryan Hollins and benched for the whole game vs. Boston.  So, he's not happy either.

What does that mean for the rumored Nets-Kings trade?  Nothing yet. The talks are reportedly stalled because of the Kings' insistence that Mason Plumlee be added to the deal and the Nets' adamant refusal to include him.

In fact, the Nets apparently are adamant about not including any of their young talent, which includes both Bojan Bogdanovic, who's fallen out of the rotation, and Sergey Karasev, who's starting ... and playing well.

As Chris Mannix reports in a mini-profile on Darren Collison, the big piece the Kings would give up...

The talks stalled -- the Kings insisted on Mason Plumlee being included; Brooklyn isn’t interested in parting with Plumlee or any of its young talent -- but there are no guarantees Collison will be with the Kings through the end of the season.

Sounds like Mannix doesn't think the deal is dead though.

Mannix praises Collison as a potential Most Improved Player candidate, citing his numbers -- career-highs in scoring (16.2) and assists (6.0) and Player Efficiency Rating (18.4) -- but not how Deron Williams went right at him in last week's Nets game, got him in early foul trouble and rendered him ineffective.

One telling comment --or possibly a throwaway line-- Mannix used in discussing Collison's future..."wherever he plays."  Collison tells Mannix he likes that he's gotten an opportunity to show what he can do in Sacramento, but at least in the quotes Mannix used, doesn't mention anyone in the Kings organization.

Stay tuned.