The Sacramento Kings have made a stunning agreement to trade DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. This comes surprisely as many sources believed Cousins to be off the market and potentially working a deal to re-sign with Sacramento. However, during the All-Star game on Sunday night, the Kings and Pelicans came to terms on a deal that sends Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Big Easy in return for Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick, and a 2017 second-round pick. The deal will be submitted to the league on Monday for approval.
Starting Over: The Story of a King
Sacramento has begun the rebuilding process by ending the internal concern and chaos over the future of DeMarcus Cousins. The addition of Hield and Galloway provides the Kings with young guard talent that they desperately need. The Kings also reunite with their former Rookie of the Year, Tyreke Evans. Even so, the Pelicans received Cousins in a highway robbery. Hield has been slightly disappointing thus far this season, and Evans is coming off of multiple knee surgeries. The Kings could have worked the market better, receiving more in return, but instead decided to jump the gun. Regardless, the two picks included do come in time for the perfect draft class. Widely proclaimed to be full of star talent, the 2017 NBA Draft presents more for the Kings to build upon. These pieces, along with Cousins’ temperamental unpredictability, pushed Sacramento to make the move Sunday night. This comes less than a week before the trade deadline (Thursday, February 23rd at 3:00 p.m.).
Frontcourt for the Future
As for New Orleans, the Pelicans got exactly what Anthony Davis wanted. Sources say that the Pelicans plan to convince Cousins to sign an extension sooner rather than later. This would allow New Orleans to build around the best front court in the league for years to come. Cousins could have stayed in Sacramento and would have been able to sign a five year, $209 million dollar extension. Despite openly expressing his willingness to do so, Cousins was outed.
Cousins is under contract for one more season and has the ability to be come a free agent after the 2017-18 season. In July, the Pelicans have the option to entice him into a five year contract worth around $179 million. Considering Cousins is from Mobile, Alabama, only two hours away from New Orleans, this is as close to home as possible.
The Pelicans have successfully found someone to pair with Anthony Davis, the reigning All-Star MVP. With this trade, New Orleans shows their commitment to building a franchise. Davis, who scored 52 points in the All-Star Game last night, may just received more than from this break than he could have ever imagined.