Written by: Tre LyDay – Staff Writer (@trelyday23)
Remember when a lot of people including myself actually believed that the Kings wouldn’t trade DeMarcus Cousins? We were definitely wrong on that one as the Kings actually did trade Cousins hours after the conclusion of the All-Star Game on Sunday.
Cousins will now be a New Orleans Pelican, and in exchange the Kings will receive a 2017 second-round pick (via Philadelphia), a 2017 first-round pick, Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway. The Pelicans who have been looking for a center since last season not only fleeced the Kings, but pulled off a trade that could land them in the playoffs.
Cousins has stated multiple times that he wanted to stay in Sacramento, even saying he’d love to finish his career there and possibly hang some banners in the rafters. Loyalty is a two-way street, and Boogie found that out the hard way. It’s a shame really because the Kings have had a real problem with letting talent go. Let’s not forget at one point the Kings had Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Hassan Whiteside on the same team.
Last year the Kings let Rajon Rondo walk even after he had one of the best seasons of his career, and was the best thing to happen to Cousins. Cousins made it perfectly clear that he did not want Rondo to leave, but alas the Kings dropped the ball on Cousins request.
The Kings who seem to want to build around a Cousins-free enviroment sold themselves short on this deal. Cousins is a top five center in the league, and the fact that they only received a couple picks, an injury riddled Tyreke Evans and a couple undeveloped players is a head scratcher.
Sacramento really showed their dysfunction in this trade. To make matters even worse The Kings traded Cousins after saying multiple times in public that he would NOT be traded. Vlade Divac had everyone completely convinced, even to the point where it seemed a lucrative contract extension was imminent. Now that Divac has 100 percent backtracked on his word the franchise’s credibility has taken a real shot. Some agents even saying they’ve lost ALL credibility.
On the flip side the Pelicans made a monster deal that in their eyes could take them back to the playoffs. Unless the Pelicans make another trade before the deadline, I still don’t think they’ll make the playoffs. In a guard oriented league the Pelicans have the exact opposite. The Pelicans now have seven frontcourt players which is way too many. Their guards consist of Jrue Holiday, Tim Frazier and E’Twaun Moore. Maybe the Pels have a guard stashed on their D-League roster, but I can’t see this really working out for the best. Holiday and Frazier will most likely be the ones that will have to play heavy minutes on a nightly basis.
The Kings will go from being a game and a half out of the eight seed in the west to most likely falling out of playoff contention all together. The Pelicans on the other hand, now have possibly the best frontcourt pair in the NBA. They currently stand two and a half games out of the eight seed, and are looking to make a push to get back into the playoffs. Unless the Pelicans figure out what they’re going to do in the backcourt my money’s still on Denver getting the eighth seed; but should New Orleans figure something out it wouldn’t shock me if they snuck in on the backs of The Brow and Boogie.