This trade wasn’t just a blockbuster deal to be remembered – it was a total rip-off, an absolutely mean steal, and one that can very well go down as one of the largest mistakes in Kings, let alone NBA, history.
The official deal went down as followed:
(G) Buddy Hield, (F) Tyreke Evans, (G) Langston Galloway, 2017 New Orleans 1st RD selection (Top 3 Protected), 2017 2nd RD selection (Unprotected)
(F/C) DeMarcus Cousins, (F) Omri Casspi
Breaking Down the Pieces Included:
–Pelicans 2017 1st RD Selection (Top 3 Protected): First Kings mistake. Even with the chances of this pick falling into the top 3 being slim to none – the risk of not asking for an unprotected pick, and avoiding a catastrophe, was a silly mistake. Just imagine the reaction if New Orleans missed the playoffs (which is entirely possible) – and them earning a top 3 selection through a lottery miracle – and stealing the Kings pick… The pick will most likely fall between the 10-17 range, which is still a solid pick – but we must remember, is DeMarcus Cousins, the best center in the NBA, worth a mid-1st RD selection? I’ll leave that to you guys to figure out. And also a friendly reminder, the Kings aren’t the most intelligent when it comes to picks!
–Pelicans 2017 2nd RD selection (Unprotected): This pick is basically a small addition – as 2nd RD picks are more of a compensation. The reality is, 75% of the time these picks end up as either international players who’ll never play an NBA game, or a career bench/D-League player.
–Langston Galloway: The 25 year old, former undrafted Knick, will serve as a decent bench option for Sacramento. Nothing special folks.
–Omri Casspi: The Israeli journeyman will take a bench role in New Orleans – as an above average shooting option. Again, nothing big.
–Tyreke Evans: Here’s a nice comeback story for the former Kings star, making his return to Sacramento. He played for Sacramento from 2009-13, including his best overall season in his rookie campaign, earning Rookie of the Year honors. Ever since that magical year, he’s steadily declined his play season by season – with age and injuries. Evans is having his worst season as of yet averaging just over 9 PPG, 3 RPG and 3 APG. Kings fans can hope he turns back to his old self – but the 27 year old needs to put in a ton of work.
–Buddy Hield: The 23 year old, Bahamian Rookie Guard, out of Oklahoma University has a lot to live up to, if he wants to prevent his new team from really losing this trade. Hield was drafted at the 6th overall spot by New Orleans this past draft, and looked to be a young building piece of the future. So far this season, he’s been putting up under average numbers of 8.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG and only 1.9 APG – which are most likely not the numbers you would want to see from your big lottery pick. Yes, Hield can be a very explosive, promising player – but is he really worth acquiring for your superstar franchise player? In addition, it is crucial to note that Hield is the SAME AGE as Pelicans superstar F Anthony Davis, as Davis is in his 5th season in the NBA. It may look like I’m putting down the kid completely – and that’s not the case, as I believe he has the potential to grow into a quality starter, but there is a ton of work to be done – and not enough evidence of a future star as of yet. Hield was clearly the centerpiece of this trade in terms of who the Kings were receiving, and must grow tremendously as a young player to succeed – and live up to very high expectations of the Kings.
-DeMarcus Cousins: The guy is a freak of nature. The guy plays with a passion like none other. The guy is a leader. The guy is the best offensive Center in the league. The guy can do it all. The guy is THE best Center in the league. The guy is ONLY 26 YEARS OLD and just entering his prime! He has the potential to be an NBA legend – and lead the new generation and play style of the modern day big man. Cousins is averaging an insane 27.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 4.8 APG – numbers only capable of putting up by teammate Anthony Davis and himself. He’s hungry for success after plenty of nightmarish, wasteful seasons overall in Sacramento – as his team was unable to keep a steady group of players, and coaches to surround the star. Yes, he does have an attitude comparable to no one in the league, as he leads the league with a scary 17 total Technical fouls – but how much of this had to do with the amount of stress and pressure constantly put on his back? A change of scenery, and team stability can possibly change the guy – not only in the technical foul category, but himself as a player and his rather large ego. The man wants to make a statement, win, and show the league what he’s really made of.
Breaking Down the Long Term and Short Term Team Impact:
Short Term – Well, its very clear to see that this trade isn’t going to help the Kings now – and they’ll end up with a bottom record in the west. The team has no leaders, no stars, and little immediate talent. Their plan for the short term should be to try different pieces out, mix and match, and set their pieces for the future…
Long Term– Again, it’s obvious to see that this trade is for the future of this Sacramento team. Buddy Hield looks to be their SG for the future, and they’ll build around this year’s high 1st RD picks as well. The currently injured Rudy Gay can be a solid option for this team down the stretch, as he is 30 – but shown no significant signs of a decline. They also hope their other young players develop like Willie Cauley-Stein, Georgios Papagiannis, Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson and Ben McLemore. The future can be brighter, but it’s a big process and must require better development than the past Sacramento teams.
Short Term- The Pelicans are making a statement, and they want to win, quick. The addition of Boogie gives them a great chance to grab the 7th or 8th seed in the West, setting up a matchup with either the Warriors, Spurs or Rockets. The only thing keeping them back from being an immediate contender, despite their scary duo, is their depth. The team is very weak behind the stars, and that may be the deciding factor in a playoff series, and games down the stretch.
Long Term– Now we can say “New Orleans contender!” in the long term… The Pelicans can be a major threat in the NBA as their superstars gel together, and they build their depth, which all in all, may be the largest part of gaining success. Boogie and Brow are young as can be – which luckily gives them plenty of time to grow. And if you aren’t convinced or scared yet, remember that they’re just entering their primes. Watch out NBA – NOLA is gonna be out there and hungry for success…
My Overall Prediction:
All in all, I believe this trade was an absolute A+ for NOLA, and to be honest, a D+ for Sacramento. I truly believe the Pellys will be in the top 4 seed discussion in a minimum of 2 seasons, and will be able to keep Boogie, and grow their team behind the star big men. Meanwhile for Sacramento, this is a process that NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT. To prevent this trade from becoming a bust for the ages, they MUST value their young players over everyone to build their future, and not make a Knicks and Bulls like mistake, paying old veterans to “win now”. They must face the reality that this team is for the future, and it’s going to be a long step by step process. I truly hope they get it correct, but the truth is they won’t be a playoff team at the least for a minimum of 3-5 years.
Lastly, there’s just one more topic I want to touch on: the PURE STUPIDITY of the Sacramento Kings organization…
Before we start the rant – let’s look back at the recent mistakes of this organization:
-Haven’t drafted a solid player since Isaiah Thomas in 2011 (9 total picks ago)
-Traded Isaiah Thomas for Alex Oriakhi (who?) and a 2nd RD pick
-Cut Hassan Whiteside for nothing
-Traded Tyreke Evans (at first as a promising young player) for Grevis Vasquez and a bunch of 2nd RD picks (aka: nothing)
-Traded DeMarcus Cousins for a long, risky process
-And biggest of all, hired Vlade Divac as a GM – possibly the WORST GM IN THE NBA!
The Kings have been a complete embarrassment to their poor city of Sacramento – failing to bring an ounce of success to their fans. The front office is not only clueless, but an absolute crapshoot year after year. Forget about giving up on young future stars, the Kings have gave franchise player DeMarcus Cousins ABSOLUTELY ZERO HELP over the years. Their past top draft picks have included: Bismarck Biyombo (7th), Thomas Robinson (5th), Ben McLemore (7th), Nik Stauskas (8th), Willie Cauley-Stein (6th) and Marqueese Chriss (8th) who was traded for rookies Georgios Papagiannis (13th) and Skal Labissiere (28th) who the Kings drafted, and traded for another rookie in Malachi Richardson (22nd). As I read the players repeatedly, I’m thinking “how in the world did they mess up this badly?”. Is it the development? Is just poor drafting? Well, that doesn’t matter because whatever it was, it didn’t work and the Kings must fix this ongoing problem. And even more importantly, they have had a total of 6 head coaches in Boogie’s 7 years on the team. Talk about consistency at the helm! And even worse, they fired the only coach the ‘uncoachable’ Cousins EVER LIKED, in Mike Malone, only after 1 season. Talk about a disgrace, and letting down your star. In addition I would like to share three statements from members of the Kings dysfunctional management:
-Owner Vivek Ranadive proposed an idea of playing a 4 on 5 defense, with a ‘cherry picker’ at the end of the court.
-Owner Vivek Ranadive stated recently “Buddy Hield has ‘Steph Curry’ potential”.
-Kings management reportedly told DeMarcus Cousins he’ll remain in Sacramento through the deadline. He was traded shortly after…
What in the world are they thinking? Let’s look at these one by one… A cherry picking offense? Maybe the Sacramento 4th Grade Rec-League would be more suitable, Vivek? Next, comparing a young player with enough pressure on his back to lead a team’s future, and succeed in the NBA – to a back to back MVP, finals champion? What is he thinking? Not saying Buddy isn’t a promising player – but putting even more pressure by comparing him to Curry? Not a good idea, Vivek. Lastly, we have a story that is totally unacceptable and unprofessional. Why tell your star player that he’s remaining on the team if your even CONSIDERING trading him? Not only did they turn their back on him, but they truly betrayed him.
Well, enough is enough; the Kings must do something quick, and most importantly, look back at their past mistakes and improve on them in the future…