After years of trade rumors surrounding the man known as ‘Boogie’, the rumor became a reality this evening as the Sacramento Kings traded franchise center DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The full details of the trade involves Cousins and Omri Casspi being dealt to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 1st-round pick and a 2017 2nd-round pick.
The move has a number of consequences for both teams, as well as the NBA. By making this blockbuster trade, the Kings signaled a franchise rebuild after failing to make the playoffs during Cousins’ career. They start fresh with a new star in Buddy Hield. Fun fact: DeMarcus Cousins has landed 6 more three-pointers than Hield this season. For the Pelicans, they have arguably the two best big men in the NBA in Cousins and Anthony Davis as their front-court. It gives Davis the star he’s been wanting to play alongside with and makes the Pelicans the most dangerous team to watch during the second half of the season. Cousins is in the middle of his best NBA season to date, averaging a career-high in points per game, assists per game, 3-point FG % and player efficiency rating. Both Cousins and Davis are the only two players to average at least 20 PPG and 10 RPG in each of the last 4 seasons.
Earlier in the evening, both men were taking part in the All Star Game, with Davis recording 52 points (an all-time ASG high) and 10 rebounds, taking home the MVP honors. Cousins meanwhile, only played 2 minutes. It’s rare for a trade to occur after the All Star Game, as Cousins was told during his post-game presser that he had been traded. The news left Cousins in a slight shock, but there seemed to be some relief as he went on and praised the city of New Orleans with a smile.
The trade rumors surrounding Cousins seems to happen every year and it was nothing new for Boogie. But after years of frustration with the franchise, it must’ve been comforting for him to know that the rumors were finally put to bed and that he’d enjoy a fresh start alongside the best power forward in the game. New Orleans is not a foreign place for Boogie either. The center, who grew up in Mobile, Alabama, spent a lot of time in New Orleans as a kid, so it would feel like a sort of homecoming for the former King.
So what does this mean for the Kings organisation? Despite the trade rumors circulating all season, Cousins was assured by the front office that he wouldn’t be dealt and that a long-term deal was in the plans. Cousins’ agent was even told FORTY minutes before the trade by Vice President of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac that Cousins would not be traded. The way the situation was handled creates a bad image for the Kings organisation within the NBA agent community. It’s also interesting to note that the trade was accepted almost immediately. Could the Kings have waited longer until the trade deadline for a better offer, or were they really keen to get rid of their franchise player so quickly?
The Kings aren’t done dealing either. They’re looking to trade their veteran players Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and Ben McLemore for younger assets. They clearly see Buddy Hield as the face of their rebuild along with Willie Cauley-Stein, otherwise they wouldn’t have made the move. Langston Galloway is reportedly set to be waived once the trade goes through, while Tyreke Evans’ expiring contract creates an uncertain future for a player who returns to Sacramento, where it all started. Evans won the Rookie of the Year award over Stephen Curry during his time in Sac-town, but three knee surgeries later and it’s obvious Tyreke isn’t the same player he was. The draft picks may not even be great either, as the Kings may wind up picking in the teens if the Pelicans make the post-season. Ever since the glory days of 2002 with “The Greatest Show on Court”, the Kings have struggled to find a squad good enough to reach the playoffs. They’ve had underwhelming guards in Jimmer Fredette, Nik Stauskas, Ben McLemore and now Buddy Hield during this time, while at one point in 2012, Sacramento had DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Hasaan Whiteside! This Cousins trade doesn’t make things any better from a Kings standpoint. Meanwhile, Boogie can relax as the Pelicans, who are 2.5 games behind the 8th-seeded Nuggets (and 1 behind the Kings, but that will soon change), look to make a run at the playoffs with the most formidable front-court duo in NBA history.
The DeMarcus Cousins era in Sacramento is officially over, but it’s the dawn of a new era for the pair who should be known as ‘Boogie and the Brow’.