Distraction, cancer, annoying, superstar. Some adjectives that have followed DeMarcus Cousins since being drafted by the Sacramento Kings. Another thing that has followed Cousins throughout his career has been trade rumors. It feels like he has been on the move to any other team than the Kings ever since he was taken by them with the 5th pick in 2010.
Those rumors are no more. A week after “Boogie” Cousins was reportedly getting ready to accept a max contract offer this summer, he has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for former Oklahoma star Buddy Hield, and a first round pick according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. ESPN’s Marc Stein also reported more insight on the deal, by reporting that Omri Casspi of the Kings will also be going to the Pelicans while Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and a second rounder will join Hield and the first round pick.
Kings stay kings? That should probably come with a negative connotation at this point. Why would Sacramento trade the face of their franchise for a few role players and a couple of picks.? These are the type of moves that keep the Kings from having their first winning season in over 10 years. No Kings fan was jumping with joy when they got a notification on their phone that the messiah Tyreke Evans was headed back home to his first NBA destination for one of the best players in the NBA.
Evans isn’t a terrible player but he is clearly on the decline. He hasn’t averaged 20+ points a game since his rookie year where he looked like a rising star and at this point in time he averages below 10 points per game (ppg). Hield has upside but his ability score hasn’t translated as expected. They basically just drafted Jimmer Fredette again when they got Buddy Hield. Both high volume scorers in college, especially behind the three point arc, who couldn’t / haven’t shoot over 40% in the league. Hield will be a better player the Fredette but is his upside close to that of Cousins? Not even close.
The Kings blew this trade badly. It may be that the best possible thing to come out of this trade was the two picks. With the second rounder they could strike gold and pick an Isaiah Thomas which they did and eventually traded for a bag of basketballs to the Phoenix Suns. With the first round pick maybe they get another Ben Mclemore, Thomas Robinson, Jimmer Fredette, Willie Cauley-Stein or Nik Stauskas. Solid. If they do make a good pick like they did in 2010 with Cousins, they will just dangle the player off the cliff until they finally drop him into the lap of another team.
All this bashing of the Kings leads to a big praise of the Pelicans.Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins: possibly the two best centers in basketball joining the same team. Both players average close to 28 ppg and 11 rebounds. It will be interesting to see how their play styles blend but overall great move. Cousins may still reportedly be a bad teammate and a tough player to coach but it didn’t seem like that when he was winning at Kentucky with John Wall. Maybe him and Davis change the culture in New Orleans and turn the Pelicans into a contender. If that happens, good luck stopping these twin towers in NOLA.