Sacramento Kings: Making Sense Of The DeMarcus Cousins Trade
The Sacramento Kings have finally traded DeMarcus Cousins, sending him to the New Orleans Pelicans. With that, where do the Kings go from here now that they have moved on from Cousins?
Just when we all thought it wouldn’t happen, the Sacramento Kings did the unthinkable Sunday night.
Shortly after the end of the NBA’s All-Star game, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical dropped a Woj bomb if there ever was one by reporting that the Kings had agreed to send their star DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Along with shipping off Omri Casspi to the Pelicans, the Kings receive Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a top-three protected 2017 first-round pick and one future second-round pick in return, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Sacramento has agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, league source tells @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 20, 2017
A truly stunning conclusion to what was already a bewildering day, all of which started with Wojnarowski reporting that the Kings had recently engaged in trade talks regarding Cousins, specifically citing the Pelicans as a possible suitor.
That created a firestorm with report after report suggesting talks had gone from exploratory to the Kings weighing serious offers from various teams before settling on the trade package offered by the Pelicans.
On the Kings part, the move is a shocking turn for many reasons. For one, it was mere days ago when Cousins stated his desire to stay in Sacramento long-term in an interview with Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
There was also Kings general manager Vlade Divac‘s comments earlier this month explicitly saying that the team “was not going to trade DeMarcus” and had interest in signing to him to a “super max” contract extension under the new CBA that’s set to go in effect this summer.
That’s obviously not the case anymore as Cousins’ time with the team, which started nearly seven years ago, has now come to an inexplicable close.
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And now comes the big question that not only Kings fans are asking, but almost everyone who follows the league in general: Where on Earth do the Kings go from here?
Jettisoning Cousins gives the Kings the chance to start anew and rids them of the red flags Cousins came with, with his on court behavior being a source of notoriety and discussion.
However, starting fresh comes with a different set of expectations, especially without anyone who comes close of matching Cousins’ talents to lead the team, both in the present and potentially long-term.
Just when it looked like they had finally started to find some consistency before the All-Star break, this season has now become something else entirely for the Kings as well as playoff expectations seemingly not being prioritized by the team’s ownership after the move.
The Kings now have to do what they couldn’t around Cousins and focus on developing their promising, but inconsistent players to build a solid foundation in hopes to jump start a new era of success, something that seems more like a pipe dream especially after the last 24 hours.
The post-DeMarcus Cousins era has officially begun for the Kings and just like his time with the team, it’s already marred in chaos and skepticism.