As NBA commissioner Adam Silver presented New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis with the 2017 NBA All Star Game MVP trophy, Davis’ Pelicans were in the process of drastically changing the course of their current regular season.
After multiple reports were tossed around, the final terms of the trade have for the most part surfaced. The Kings will receive 2016 1st rounder Buddy Heild, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway along with the Pelicans 2017 1st rounder and future 2nd rounder. The Pelicans receive DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi. There are lingering reports that say a 2019 1st from New Orleans might also be on its way to Sacramento but for now this is where we are.
My initial reaction to this trade is that the Pelicans made the move that no one saw coming because they sensed the eagerness from the Kings front office to rid themselves of Cousins. This increases the Pelicans chances of reaching the 8th spot in this years playoffs and that is enough in their eyes to make the move. Cousins has stated that he has no plans to resign in 2018 with whichever team trades for him, but if Anthony Davis and Coach Alvin Gentry can sell Cousins on the future strategy in New Orleans then they have a shot to bring him back. Bringing him to his first playoff game would be an enormous help to their case for resigning him.
The Kings will be and have been ridiculed for this trade already but in their eyes they rid themselves of the lingering elephant in the room and can now move forward with their rebuild. A possible two 1st round draft picks in a seemingly deep draft class could set Sacramento up for a nice new core. They doubled down on the center position in the past 2 drafts and have long needed a playmaker at the point guard position. This trade definitely makes them worse in the short run which increases their chances at retaining their 2017 1st rounder which is top 10 protected and owed to the Chicago Bulls if the Kings fall out of the top 10 in this years lottery.
As we approach this Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, we will see if this trade causes any other teams to pick up the phone and make a move.