While we’re still dealing with the fallout of the DeMarcus Cousins trade, recent reports indicate that the Sacramento Kings may not be done dealing ahead of this year’s trade deadline.
Although the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline has yet to hit the frenzied stage everyone is hoping for this time of year, the Sacramento Kings certainly brought things to a full boil with the trade of DeMarcus Cousins Sunday night.
The shock of the Cousins deal hasn’t come close to wearing off and the statements made by the team’s GM, Vlade Divac, following the completion of the trade haven’t instilled much confidence for how the move came to be.
No matter the case, the events of the last couple of days have let the Kings go back to the drawing board to create a new direction, a familar and unfortunate feeling for all Kings fans over the last decade-plus. That direction may only be made much clearer once the deadline passes Thursday afternoon, if we’re to believe recent reports.
“The Kings excised Cousins, and there are strong indications they are not done dealing, either. Sacramento is determined to restock the franchise with assets, and will be targeting rookie-deal players and draft picks in the coming days, sources told The Vertical.
“Free agents-to-be Ben McLemore and Darren Collison are available, sources said, as is Arron Afflalo, a solid bench scorer with a manageable contract.”
More names could certainly be added to that list, but name checking all three of McLemore, Collison and Afflalo makes sense considering they could be heading to free agency this summer (it should be noted that Afflalo’s deal is not fully guaranteed for next season).
Acquiring the three guards from the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Cousins deal only adds to how expendable the Kings must view McLemore, Collison and Afflalo, so trying to recoup some value in return is the right play for where the Kings stand now.
And that’s where the crux of the issue started for the Kings, even before the Cousins trade actually became a reality.
Sacramento’s newfound desire for acquiring young players on rookie scale contracts as well as draft compensation has obviously become priority No. 1 by the organization in order to wipe the slate clean.
It’s undoubtedly a sudden and strange reversal, especially after the many public statements made regarding Cousins’ future contract. It’s quite a messy and hasty teardown, but it’s a teardown nonetheless, something many have clamored for over the years.
What comes following the full teardown is anyone’s guess at this point, and that’s where the true gamble in this whole situation lies. To say the development of their own draft picks in recent years hasn’t gone smoothly would be putting it mildly, and for the front office and ownership to drastically make that their focus for the future is a necessary change, but one that will draw plenty of cynicism.
That cynicism extends to free agency, which will be something to keep an eye on this offseason as well, due to the amount of cap space that could be opened up after the next couple of days and for how the front office handled the Cousins deal — both before and after it was completed.