Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that a blockbuster trade went down in the NBA.
The Sacramento Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Caspi to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and New Orleans’ 2017 first and second-round picks.
It is safe to say that this trade shook up the league. Within two days, the Calipari to the Pelicans rumors have already emerged, but I can say with confidence that Cal isn’t leaving, at least for the next 3 and a half years. His wife, Ellen, would crucify him if he left while Brad was still in school. Thank you, Brad.
Let’s take a look at this from both points of view.
For the Sacramento Kings, this was a bit of a head-scratcher. Vlade Divac had said earlier in the week that Cousins was untouchable, but trades him two days later. This really hurt the Kings and the city of Sacramento. Why would you want to play for somebody who came out and said they wouldn’t trade you but did anyway? Sacramento will have a hard time attracting free agents in the summer due to that level of trust not being there in management.
Sacramento has missed the playoffs for more than a decade now, and fans have been anxious to see a winning team on the basketball court. This can’t be blamed on DeMarcus. Yes, he has a temper and lets his emotions get the best of him on most nights, but you can’t just replace 25 plus points and 10 plus rebounds. That doesn’t come everyday in the NBA. Cousins is the best true big man in the game, and has been for the last three or four years. You can argue that Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis are better, but if you’re a Kentucky fan, that is a good argument to have.
Simply put, the Kings need to hit it big in this year’s draft and hope that they can lure big-time free agents to NoCal this offseason. The Sacramento Kings deserve a D+ grade for this trade. They gave up the franchise, but also gained good guards and draft picks that might pay dividends down the road. For now, however, the Kings remain a doormat and the laughing stock of the league. Even the 76ers are better now.
It’s a great time to be in the Big Easy. All-Star game MVP Anthony Davis, fresh off a 52-point performance in the game on Sunday, was ecstatic to learn about Cousins coming to New Orleans, via Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
"This is an unbelievable weekend. All-Star MVP and now getting Boogie," said Davis, "it doesn’t get better than this."
The Pelicans are a few games back of the 8th spot in the Western Conference but with the best front-court in the NBA to take the court for the first time together Thursdays, the standings in the West could be shifting within the coming weeks. The Pelicans went BIG. They gave up a franchise-hopeful in Buddy Hield to pair the best big men together. There is one big problem.
Other than Jrue Holiday, who has had an injury-prone career, the Pelicans don’t have any other guards that can make an impact right away and to win in the NBA; you need good guards. Boogie and AD can only carry the Pelicans for so long, but the guards will follow. If you’re a UK and Pelicans fan, you hope that NOLA can keep these guys for a long time. Re-signing DeMarcus Cousins should be the top priority for the Pelicans, and they should go through all lengths for that to happen.
Although New Orleans is a couple of games behind the King in the West, change will sone be coming. Should the Pelicans hope to land a star in the offseason? They sure should. A couple of guards that I believe could pair well with AD and Boogie are:
1. Louis Williams
A great sixth man who can provide instant offense. Just call him the microwave. Williams can put the ball in the hoop no matter where he is playing
2. Avery Bradley
One of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and his shooting has significantly improved since becoming a Celtic. If he can avoid injuries to that shoulder, he could be a nice addition to NOLA.
3. Brandon Knight
I believe this makes sense more than anything. The Pelicans are looking to trade away Terrence Jones to make room for a crowded frontcourt, and the Suns have too many guards. A Jones for Knight swap would make sense for both teams, and I wish this was a possibility. Trading a Cat for a Cat is something everything Kentucky would enjoy seeing on the bottom line of SportsCenter.
It will be a fun second-half of the NBA season with hopefully more trades to come. For now, the Pelicans are the talk of the league, and only their play can make the haters eat their words.
DeMarcus Cousins finally has a chance to make the playoffs, and Anthony Davis can move to his true power forward position instead of trying to man the paint and injure his skinny frame. Cats in the NBA are making moves. You hear that Colin Cowherd?