Pelicans shock NBA, trade for All-Star Cousins
In a move that has stunned the NBA, the Sacramento Kings have agreed to trade All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he will team up with fellow All-Star Anthony Davis to form what could be the NBA’s best forward-centre combination.
Cousins and Davis are currently the 4th and 5th highest scorers per game in the NBA, giving the Pelicans the highest scoring forward-centre pairing and two-man combination in the league.
New Orleans will also receive forward Omri Casspi in the deal, with the Kings receiving Langston Galloway, rookie Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans (won the 2009/10 Rookie of the Year while playing for Sacramento), a 2017 first-round pick (Pelicans keep the pick if it lands in the top three) and a 2017 second-round pick.
The Lakers were one of the teams interested in trading for Cousins but were reportedly unwilling to give up Brandon Ingram, the No.2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, in the deal.
The Kings trading Cousins, who is averaging a career-high 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, has been rumoured for some time, despite the player’s public comments stating his desire to stay in Sacramento and for his “jersey to be in the rafters.”
Sacramento’s General Manager Vlade Divac even stated to ESPN’s Marc Stein on February 6th that Cousins was going to be in the Kings future plans.
“We’re not trading DeMarcus. We hope he’s here for a long time. We are going in that direction,” said Divac.
The Kings decided to change their tune however, believing they were better off rebuilding without Cousins than building around him.
In his seven seasons with Sacramento, they have failed to make the playoffs and sport a winning percentage of just .353.
The Pelicans will need to get creative in retooling their starting line-up and bench given what they gave up for Cousins, as Hield started the past 36 games while the combo of Evans and Galloway combined to average 18.1 points per game off the bench.
If Cousins and Davis can mesh, they can form one of the league’s deadliest duo’s, rivalling Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in Golden State and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.