Update (November 14): Shaq may have been hitting on something. A Western Conference GM told Sporting News that Cousins trade rumors feel real and that the star big man could be on his way out in “three months, tops:”

“I’d say they have three months, tops,” one Western Conference general manager told Sporting News, requesting anonymity because he is not allowed to speak about other teams’ players. “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 GM also went on to say that the Kings will have to, “cave a little” to get rid of DMC:

“It is not going to happen unless the Kings cave a little,” the West GM said. “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.”

Original Story: Shaquille O’Neal sits in an interesting position as both a member of mainstream media and a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings. On this past Thursday’s edition of Inside the NBA, Shaq, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson spoke about Sacramento and the future of DeMarcus Cousins. Considering the Diesel’s status wit the Kings franchise, his comments carried extra weight.

Shaq questioned Cousins’ leadership abilities and said that he’s hearing that the team could look to “go in another direction” if DMC doesn’t figure it out:

“He’s a hot head, so if they want to make a run, he has to be a leader…He hasn’t shown me those leadership qualities and that why I’m hearing talk of if things don’t start to become correct, [the Kings] may be looking to go in another direction.”

Cousins has been at the center of trade rumors for years now, but with a new arena in Sacramento, the Kings would be hard-pressed to trade their face of the franchise and one of the top players in the League without getting a major package in return. The team currently sits at 4-7 and Boogie is putting up 26.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per.

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