DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 26.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the Sacramento Kings as they continue to struggle to field a competent team around him. Cousins will be a free agent in the 2018 offseason, which gives the Kings just three more windows to trade him otherwise risk having him leave without compensation.

“It is not going to happen unless the Kings cave a little,” said a Western Conference general manager. “No one is going to give up too much for someone who might ruin your team’s chemistry this year, then ruin it next year when he is playing for free-agent money. If they don’t see that, then I don’t think it changes and I don’t think he goes anywhere. I don’t know that is good for them or for him, either. But that’s the reality.”

Some executives expect the Kings to explore trade scenarios involving Cousins as early as December.

“I’d say they have three months, tops,” said the GM. “Probably more like a month, or month-and-a-half, because the closer they get to the (February trade) deadline, the less they’re going to get back. If you’re trying to trade him the week of the deadline, it’s going to be tougher.”

The Kings aren't ready to give up on the current season and will evaluate the team following their five straight home games.

“You have one owner in Sacramento who does not want to give him up,” an Eastern Conference GM said. “And you have 29 other owners who don’t want to overpay because they are scared the guy is going to be a headache and is going to hurt the organization.”