Feb. 21, 2017
Pelicans commit robbery and steal Demarcus Cousins
During this past All-Star Weekend, there were many trade rumors being talked about, and the future of Demarcus Cousins was also in question. Vlade Divac went on record on Friday to say they wouldn't be trading Cousins. But Sunday night just as the All-Star Game ended, Cousins was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, Buddy Hield, and a 2017 first and second round pick. There are so many problems with this trade, and it's not a great notion that Divac admitted to having a better offer on the table 2 days prior to making this deal. It shows that he may have panicked instead of waiting until the deadline (this Thursday) to see if a more desperate team gave a better offer.
For the Kings, this was the worst deal possible. Galloway is a backup at best in the league, Tyreke Evans is a good player but is way too injury-prone, and Buddy Hield is an unproven rookie. But owner Vivek Ranadive has an infatuation with Hield, going as far as to say he has "Steph Curry potential". I don't know if he does or he doesn't, but giving up Cousins just on potential and 1 first round pick is not the way to have gone about moving the best Center in the NBA. They have been asking for more for years, and they could have gotten more if they were a better run organization. The Lakers even made an offer with much better talent, but the Kings refused because rookie Brandon Ingram was not involved. I still believe players like Lou Williams or Julius Randle would have been much better for the Kings than Tyreke Evans or Buddy Hield. So in my opinion, the Kings took 3 steps back with this trade, and they'd better hope Hield actually does develop into a star, or else this trade is going to look terrible for them, and it will also not look good for them in the eyes of free agents whom they potentially would want to sign.
On the flip side, the Pelicans now boast the best frontcourt in the league, by far. It doesn't even matter who plays the Small Forward position when you have the best PF in Anthony Davis and the best C in Demarcus Cousins playing next to each other. A lot of teams will have problems going up against these twin towers, especially in today's small ball version of the NBA. Cousins may not be the best defensive C in the league, but Davis can help with that as he has supreme shot blocking ability and can help Cousins down there. These two are going to play off of each other beautifully, as both are offensive freaks as well. I believe the Pelicans now have a great shot at making the playoffs this season, but even if they don't, they will have the roster to attract a good free agent or two and come next season, could potentially boast one of the best rosters in the NBA. I actually love this trade for the NBA as well, as it's refreshing to not see the same teams getting better players and staying at the top of the rankings. This trade could potentially shift the Western Conference as early as next season.