After years of speculation the Sacramento Kings finally pulled the trigger on trading DeMarcus Cousins, as the franchise cornerstone was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans shortly after the NBA All-Star Game concluded in Louisiana Sunday evening.
In return the Kings will receive Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a top-three protected 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick. It’s a stunning move for a number of reasons, but general manager Vlade Divac’s reassurance that Sacramento would not be trading Cousins only a month ago makes this decision even more shocking.
As always, the sports betting world was quick to react in light of the news. TopBet dropped the Pelicans’ 2016-17 championship odds from +50000 to a staggering +8000 after the trade was announced, which is where it’s currently sitting as of this writing.
The reasoning for that jump is simple. At the age of 26 Cousins is already one of the most dominant big men in the NBA, and his per game averages of 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds 1.3 blocks will give New Orleans a badly needed boost on both ends of the floor. Pairing Cousins with all-world power forward Anthony Davis immediately gives the Pels the best frontcourt one-two punch in the Association, a duo that has the potential to be one of the best the league has seen since David Robinson and a young Tim Duncan suited up together in San Antonio two decades ago.
This move is just the latest in a long line of questionable decisions by the Kings’ front office. While Cousins’ temper tantrums have disrupted the locker room and made headlines on multiple occasions since he entered the league in 2010, he’s a bona fide superstar and single-handedly carried the Kings on many nights. The return will leave a lot to be desired by the Sacramento faithful, as seemingly the rest of the basketball world believes the organization could’ve gotten a much better haul elsewhere.
I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again: there’s never a dull moment in the NBA. Sacramento will begin the post-Boogie era against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, while the new-look Kings play host to the Houston Rockets on the same night.
I’d like to take this opportunity to have a moment of silence for OddsShark’s Andrew “Ninja” Avery, a noted Kings supporter and Cousins fanatic. Don’t cry because it’s over, Ninja. Smile because it happened.
Click here to visit our NBA futures page to keep track of any further movement.