Kings Pull Trigger: Trade Cousins to New Orleans
Sacramento has agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, league source tells @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA)
It's 1:15 am and I have just been awoken by a Woj Bomb : DeMarcus Cousins has just been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans a first round pick, and a second round pick. I have a couple of initial reactions to this blockbuster deal.
1. That's it? Sacramento had been so hesitant to part with their All-Star big man, and then all of a sudden they dealt him for a sub-par package centered around a 23 year-old rookie and now potentially a pick that will not even be in the lottery. That's befuddling.
2. Assuming that is all it took to get Cousins, why were more teams not willing to offer more? Yes, he the reputation of being hard to deal with, but his talent is undeniable. For essentially a role player and a draft pick I would've thought a team like the Celtics or the Wizards would have pulled the trigger on Cousins.
3. Cousins and Anthony Davis front court will be lethal. Cousins and Davis both are very versatile big men. Offensively there might not be two more talented big men in the game. Perhaps this is the best front court the NBA has ever seen. That is not hyperbole. It will take time for them to form some chemistry, but when they eventually do, the rest of the NBA better look out.
4. Let the John Calipari to New Orleans rumors begin. Having coached both players at Kentucky, I am certain that the talk will be whether or not the will have any interest in returning to the NBA to coach the Pelicans. He will come out and vehemently say no and call any reports of his interest "garbage". But deep down he wants to coach in the NBA. He wants to coach a team of his former players. Why not take a job that features the two best big men in the NBA who both played from him in college? He could certainly attract other talent as I am sure his former college players would love to play for him. He could start up Kentucky 2.0 in New Orleans and I predict he will.
How good does the addition of Demarcus Cousins make the New Orleans Pelicans? Currently 2.5 games back of the eighth seed and 9 games back of the seventh seed, any upward mobility this season seems unlikely. However, a first-round series with the Warriors would be very appealing. I consider the rest of this season as the meshing period. The time in which Davis and Cousins can experiment and try and figure out what works best while playing alongside one another. Then. next year is when they really need to hit the ground running. I believe with the addition of Cousins to go along with Davis, the Pelicans are a top 3 team in the Western Conference for at least the next five years. Having two behemoths in the front court, one would figure Alvin Gentry and company would be able to lure several marquee free agents, particularly guards, to play alongside the two talented big men. The Pelicans just got a a hell-of a lot better and totally changed the trajectory of their franchise - a franchise that this past week had just been given the title of lowest valued team in the NBA by Forbes ($750 million). That is about to change.