Kings GM says 'no way' DeMarcus Cousins will be traded

The speculation can end. General managers around the NBA can stop wondering if they have the goods or the nerve to deal for DeMarcus Cousins.

Kings GM Vlade Divac emphatically tells Marc Stein of ESPN that there is no way that the 26-year-old All-Star center will be traded by Sacramento.

“We’re not trading DeMarcus,” Divac said to ESPN. “We hope he’s here for a long time.”

Sources told ESPN that Divac recently met face to face with Cousins and his representatives to make it clear that the 26-year-old is not being made available to interested teams and encouraged them to ignore any media speculation leading up to the trade deadline.

ESPN reported in early January that the Kings already have begun planning to offer Cousins one of the league’s new maximum Designated Player contract extensions — estimated to be in the $219 million range over five seasons — once the league’s new collective bargaining agreement takes effect in July.

Asked by ESPN on Monday about their intentions, Divac said: “We are going in that direction.”

Cousins and the Kings have never reached the playoffs in his first six NBA seasons. Going into Monday night’s home game against Chicago, the Kings were 20-31 and 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.