Orlando, L.A., and Sacramento have engaged in "exploratory dialogue" on a deal which would send Cousins, one of the league's most talented pivots, to the Lakers. One possibility Stein floats is that the Magic could sent Nik Vucevic to Sacramento to "theoretically fill the Cousins void."
It bears noting that all three clubs own top-seven picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, set for Thursday evening. Some or all of those picks could be in play in this potential deal, though Stein says the Lakers would officially have to make their own pick because they owe their 2016 first-rounder to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Magic's asking price for Vucevic figures to be high, given how much they've invested in the budding star center, now 24, since acquiring him from the Sixers in 2012. The USC product is coming off an All-Star-caliber season, one in which he averaged 19.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and two assists. And while he has yet to develop into a plus defender, despite his excellent body and long arms, he has also yet to work with Scott Skiles, the Magic's new head coach who is deservedly renowned for his defensive aptitude.
It's difficult, but not impossible, to imagine Orlando parting with Vucevic. Unless they can land a blue-chip prospect and at least two high-value assets in return for him, look for the Magic to stick with him for the long term.