DeMarcus Cousins traded to the Big Easy
It's time to review the blockbuster trade surrounding DeMarcus Cousins before the trade deadline.
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On Sunday February 19th, DeMarcus Cousins found out he was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the Big Easy. Cousins found out shortly after the all-star game that he was involved in a blockbuster trade that sent Cousins and Omri Cassipi to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for first round rookie pick Buddy Hield, point-forward Tyreke Evans and sharpshooter Langston Galloway, as well as a first and second round in the 2017 NBA draft.
Initially, many believed that Cousins would re-sign with the Kings in a 5 year/200+ million dollar deal but it seems the Kings’ plan has changed. The big man is infamous for his emotional play, one that has seen him receive as many as 17 technical fouls this season alone, tied for the most this season in the NBA. In a statement from the Kings’ General manager Vlade Divac, “winning begins with culture and character matters”. It appears that the Kings did not find Cousins’ court behavior to be appropriate and pulled the trigger. Amongst the controversy that the move has sparked, Divac has informed fans that he will step down if he determines that the move was unsuccessful in two years time.
While the Kings have received much backlash for their decision, the Pelicans on the other hand have been highly praised. The trade pairs up arguably two of the best big men in the NBA today being DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. The duo has been labelled as the “new twin towers” and “fire and ice”, terms which match their stature and personalities. Their nicknames are fitting as Cousins averages 27.6 points and 10.8 rebounds on the season while Davis is averaging 28.1 points and 11.9 rebounds.
Despite the big-men now having to share the ball more as there are more ball dominant players, neither players have dropped in individual success with Cousins contributing 31 points and Davs 38 points in their latest game. While they each played phenomenally, the Pelicans still went on to lose 112-120 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since acquiring Cousins, the Pelicans have gone 0-3, two of which they were blown out in. Although they have not started out strongly, the new look Pelicans have a high ceiling, one where Cousins does not doubt that Davis and he “can wreak havoc onto the league”.
It’s obvious that both the Pelicans and Kings have opted to take opposite paths in their road to success. With the 2017 NBA draft expected to be the strongest in over a decade, the Kings decided to push for their rebuild and start young. Meanwhile, the Pelicans decided to turn to superstardom and stack their firepower as much as possible. The Pelicans desperately need a “3 and D” player, one who can spread the floor for the big-men heavy Pelicans and relieve some pressure. The Pelicans will look far more appealing this offseason to free agents with Cousins now on the team, so only time will tell how much better they can get.
This offseason, the Pelicans will have several opportunities to fill some holes in their team. The following free agents will be available to sign: Derrick Rose, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, Kyle Korver, Tony Allen, Ben McLemore and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. All these players are highly capable of contributing a lot to the Pelicans in an area where they are not very deep, the guard position. It’s highly unlikely the Pelicans will reach the playoffs this season as they sit at 13th in the Western Conference on a 23-37 record. Should they sign any of these players or one that can abolish some of their weaknesses, the Pelicans have high hopes for their future.