Everyone, please welcome DeMarcus Cousins to the Southwest Division.1 In a shocking2 turn of events, former Kentucky Wildcats, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have now become teammates in a deal that can only be described as mind-boggling.3 Earlier on Sunday there were reports coming from credible sources that the Kings were engaged in trade talks to ship “Boogie” Cousins out of Sacramento. Marc Stein and Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Kings were exploring trade options for their disgruntled superstar, but then Wojnarowski reported that Kings Ownership had convinced Cousins’ agent that he would not be traded.
(1 of 2) Agent Jarinn Akana tells @TheVertical: "We met w/ Vlade and ownership and they assured us and DeMarcus that he's not being traded."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 19, 2017
Of course, what would ‘a report out of Sacramento‘ be without a little conflict. The Kings have been the poster child for franchise dysfunction since drafting Cousins in 2010. Now the Kings have rid themselves of that dilemma in exchange for three underwhelming wings4 5, an instantly depreciated 1st Round Draft Pick6, and a 2nd Round Draft Pick that needs no adjective. If Sacramento finally realized that their biggest stumbling block was arguably their second best player in franchise history, then this is a good way to cut ties without a trace; because none of the assets they received are ever going to amount to anything as long as their on the Kings roster.
The Kings already know what they’re getting in Tyreke Evans, unless Vivek Ranadivé and Vlade Divac didn’t watch any Kings tape before they joined the organization7 and no one that worked for the organization pre-2013 warned them.8 Langston Galloway is a fine player but the Kings have a tendency to let go of good undersized guards.9 The draft picks sound nice, but the report is that the Pelicans 2017 1st Round Pick is Top 3 protected10 and this version of the Kings decision makers haven’t shown any type of competency in drafting players in the #4-15 range.11 Buddy Hield is the real wild card in this deal. The 23-year-old rookie could still become a solid NBA player, but even at his absolute ceiling Hield will never make an All-Star team in the Western Conference.
Also, it’s worth noting that Sacramento’s 1st Round Pick is actually owned by the Bulls, is Top 10 Protected, and the Kings are sitting at the 11th worst record in the league now. If the lottery was tomorrow, the Kings would have a 7.7% chance12 of not having a first round pick in the draft at all.13 The Kings now field one of the least talented rosters in the NBA and are on the verge of becoming The Process West.
Boogie & The Brow makes for a good headline. Whether it makes for a great and successful frontcourt has yet to be seen. The lack of talent around The Brow was glaring, especially when the Pels visited the AAC in November and trotted out a starting lineup of Tim Fraizer, E’Twaun Moore, Omer Asik14, Solomon Hill, and Davis.15 Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps needed to take a risk and DeMarcus Cousins should be on the front of Hasbro’s box.
After this season, Cousins has one year left on his deal which would make him an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018. Both sides have a lot to prove between now and then. The Pelicans are now on the clock to convince Cousins that playing with Anthony Davis in New Orleans is worth a long term commitment and Cousins must prove he is worth that level of fidelity. Until then, the combination of Davis and Cousins should light up marquees and box scores all across the League as the two pose the most versatile front court pairing ever. There may not be a single player that can guard Davis or Cousins effectively, but no team in the NBA has two players that can guard either.16 17
The big question today in Dallas will be ‘if the Kings received such a bad trade for such a good player why didn’t the Mavericks get in the action?’ There were a few teams rumored to be in talks with Sacramento (Lakers, Suns, Pelicans) but, despite their rumored interest, the Mavericks were not one of them. The organization really values character, attitude, and effort; all of which should never be used on DeMarcus’ resume. Cousins is a better player but he posed almost the exact same situation that Rondo did when he was traded to the Mavericks in December of 2014. That was a disaster the rebuilding Mavericks could not afford to make again.
That being said, all assets concerned, the Mavericks18 could have packaged a deal together to acquire Cousins. According to Hollinger Stats, The Boogie Night Trade didn’t improve either team involved. For what it’s worth, the Mavs could have sent Deron Williams, Dwight Powell, Justin Anderson, their 1st Round Pick, and a 2nd Round Pick and the Kings would have improved by 1 win. That same deal with Seth Curry instead of Anderson would make the Kings 5 games worse but could arguably be a better deal. Either deal could rival what the Kings received, but that’s all revisionist history now.
Other than the Kings, the biggest loser in this deal may become the Mavericks as they sit right in the dead zone between the playoffs and Bottom 5 position in the Lottery. The Mavs are currently three games behind Denver who is in 8th place in the West Playoffs and one game in front of Philadelphia who is in the 5th place in the Lottery. The Boogie Night Trade simultaneously established one team ahead and one team behind the Mavericks in the West standings, further limiting the Mavs chances at either venture.
The Mavericks playoffs hopes may have been thwarted as soon as Dell Demps hung up his fleece after convincing Vlade Divac to relinquish his franchise player. The Pelicans are two and a half games behind the Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the West and their drastic improvement all but guarantees that they will secure that spot by season’s end. On the other side, The Kings are a significantly worse team now that it no longer employs DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings sit at #11 in the Lottery Standings19 and the lack of talent they received in this trade all but guarantees a drastic free fall into the Bottom 5. That same heist between Demps and Divac may have ruined the Mavericks chances at a top draft pick and the playoffs, in either direction the Mavericks no longer control their fate.
In the playoff direction, Denver stayed relatively the same20 and New Orleans significantly improved.
Down the Lottery Standings, there are a few teams that have significantly improved their chances as well. There’s still time for deals to be made but Brooklyn, LAL, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York have remained just as bad as they were before the All-Star Break. While Orlando (Serge Ibaka Trade), Minnesota (Zach LaVine Injury), Portland (Mason Plumlee Trade), and Sacramento (Boogie Night Trade) all became worse.
The Mavericks were not involved in the DeMarcus Cousins Trade discussions but they were affected, greatly. This point in the season is always when teams start to going in one direction or the other, Playoffs or Lottery. It’s a debate we’ve had all season but now more than ever the Mavs need to start heading one way or the other. The Pelicans and Kings made their moves. The Mavericks need to make theirs.
- Wait, do we really care about Divisions anymore?
- Not really, it’s the Kings…
- Really wanted to go Boogiling there
- One of which they’ve already employed…
- Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and Buddy Hield
- DeMarcus Cousins makes the Pelicans way better
- This is so in play that I’d feel bad betting on it
- Oh hey, remember when Evans won Rookie of the Year?! He might be the first player ever whose scoring average decreased each of his first five years in the NBA
- See: Thomas, Isaiah and See: Curry, Seth
- Meaning that, after the lottery, if the pick lands at #1, 2, or 3 the Pelicans retain that selection and then the Kings are in danger of never receiving the pick at all
- McLemore: 7th (2013), Nik Stauskas: 8th (2014), Willie Cauley-Stein: 6th (2015), and acquired Georgios Papagiannis 13th (2016)
- Pelicans have pick #9 currently and have a 7.9% chance to pick in the Top 3 pick. Kings pick is #11 and has a 97% chance to fall or stay at #11
- Which would be the most KINGS-iest thing that ever happened
- And you guys don’t want Andrew Bogut…imagine what Pels Fans think about Asik…
- Jrue Holiday was recovering from injury and came off the bench in that game
- Maybe Draymond and Durant, but not for 40 minutes
- The Mavs are one of a few teams that definitely don’t have one player that can guard either
- And every team in the NBA honestly.
- Like the NBA’s version of The Upsidedown
- So far…they have another trade in them
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