In the biggest blockbuster trade of this year-to-date, DeMarcus Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans. The star big man was known as being a cancer in the locker room and that was getting in the way of the Kings’ ability to win games. Vlade Divac and the rest of the Kings’ front office apparently didn’t want to trade Cousins, but ultimately they did. In this trade, Sacramento is receiving draft picks, rookie Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Gallaway. While the Kings received a solid trade package in return, the Pelicans look like the true winners of this trade.
Cousins join an already solid team in New Orleans looking to secure a playoff spot. He would slide in to the center position, shifting fellow superstar Anthony Davis to the four. After this trade, the Pelicans now have a big three of their own, consisting of Cousins, Davis, and point guard Jrue Holiday. New Orleans looks much better on paper after their recent acquisition of Cousins, but it will be interesting to see how he fits in. Will he cause problems like he did in Sacramento? How will Anthony Davis feel with another star sharing his spotlight? All of these questions will most likely be answered within the next few weeks.
The Western Conference has been very tough this year, and two teams are alone at the top. Those two teams are the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. While the Warriors are the better team, the Spurs would be better suited to face New Orleans. The Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge would guard Anthony Davis, with Dewayne Dedmon or Pau Gasol guarding DeMarcus Cousins. On the other hand, the Warriors will not be able to go small against the star big men the Pelicans feature. They would be forced to give either Zaza Pachulia or Javale McGee more minutes, something that the Warriors do not want to do. The two teams face off on April 8 and possibly in the playoffs. That would definitely be an interesting playoff series, as the Pelicans would be a formidable foe for the Warriors.
The Boston Celtics were another team rumored to be interested in Cousins, but that never fell through. If the trade perhaps had gone through, the Celtics would rival the Cleveland Cavaliers as best in the east. Cousins going to the Pelicans doesn’t affect the Eastern Conference all that much, but most teams in the conference would be suited to take them on.
Now lets talk about how this trade affects the Sacramento Kings. After losing the face of their franchise, the Kings are without an identity. This could be a blessing in disguise as players could step up their game in an increased role. Willie Cauley-Stein will be inserted into the starting lineup in the absence of Cousins. Carley-Stein has flashed some potential in his short time spent in the NBA, but this could help his development. The Kings will most likely go into full rebuild mode now, and if they struggle for the rest of the year, they could wind up with a high lottery pick.
It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out, and whether one team will walk away as the clear winner of the trade. DeMarcus Cousins could either turn the New Orleans Pelicans into a championship contender, or ruin their franchise.Follow @jackstatsblog