An exercise in incompetence. A show of stupidity. A portrait of pitiful. No, I’m not talking about the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. I’m talking about the actions of Vlade Divac and the organization that is the Sacramento Kings. By now, you probably know that the Kings decided to trade away their franchise big man DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans for what equates to a cookie and a bag of chips. I can’t think of a trade more disastrous for a franchise since Billy King moronically shipped away the Brooklyn Nets’ entire future for KG and Paul Pierce. And at least the Nets got quality players out of it (albeit 5+ years past their primes). What the Kings have done with this trade goes beyond moronic. In fact, I don’t think there’s any word in the English language to express just how dumb this move was. Suffice to say, it was bad. Before I continue slamming this move any further, I think it would be helpful to break down this trade so we can understand just how stupid this move was.
Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The best piece the Kings got in this trade is easily Buddy Hield, and that should immediately ring alarm bells in any sane person’s mind. I like Buddy Hield. I really do. But when the highlight of your NBA career is grabbing an opposing player’s private parts (that player happened to be Cousins: coincidence? I think not), it’s usually not a good sign. While playing around 20 minutes per game, Hield has averaged almost 9 points a game while shooting nearly 40% from the field and 37% from 3-point range. And although those numbers aren’t terrible, they’re also not what you’re looking for in someone who you think will be the next Steph Curry. Now you’re probably thinking that nobody actually thinks Buddy Hield can be the next Steph Curry. And that’s where you’d be wrong. According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, Divac, the Kings’ owner, thinks Hield has “Steph Curry potential.” Maybe some hardcore Oklahoma fans think Divac is on to something. I think he needs to be drug tested. No matter what you think of Steph Curry’s game, you have to agree he’s at the very least a top ten guard in the league. And that’s not just because he can shoot threes off the dribble, which Buddy Hield has barely proven the ability to do. It’s also because he can handle the ball well, run an offense, and shoot from inhuman range, all of which Buddy Hield has not shown any ability to do with any consistency. That’s not a knock on Buddy Hield. I just think it’s fair to say that not everybody who shoots threes can become Steph Curry. That’s not a bad thing. That is, unless you trade away the league’s best big man based on that terrible assumption. And that’s exactly what Sacramento did. Yikes.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Oh how the mighty have fallen. A little less than a decade ago, Evans was the 4th overall pick in an NBA Draft that featured the likes of Steph Curry and DeMar DeRozan picked a few slots later. Now, Evans is an oft injured, borderline defensive liability who couldn’t make a three if his life depended on it. In some ways, he’s basically a discount Rudy Gay. And even Rudy Gay’s shooting has improved from three point range. Make that blowout sale, clearance Rudy Gay. I know that sounds harsh, and, to be fair, it’s not all Evans’ fault. Injuries can derail any player’s career, and Evans can certainly be grouped into the category of players whose full potential could never be realized due to injury. But the Kings knew that when they made this trade, and unless Divac is going to hop in a DeLorean, start up the flux capacitors, and hit 88 miles per hour, there’s no way Evans can be a useful piece for a Sacramento team that is already below average on offense and defense. Nothing short of the Fountain of Youth can make Evans into anything more than just another rotation player, and last time I checked, nobody’s had any luck finding it.
Photo Courtesy of NBA.com
Langston Galloway is an ok NBA player. He really is (aside from the fact that he’s shooting 37% from the field, but I’ll cut him some slack). But he’s not much more than that. He’s like the store brand soda you can buy at Walmart, Sams Club, take your pick. Sure, it can give you a decent approximation of what you want, but deep down you know that what you’re really getting is just a cheap substitute for something you can’t afford. For some NBA teams, the store brand point guard could be a useful commodity. But not for the Sacramento Kings. The last thing a team with the likes of Darren Collison and Ty Lawson needs is yet another guard to contribute to their messy backcourt situation. In the end, I can’t see Galloway being much more than just another store brand point guard on Sacramento’s sorry roster of mostly store brand players.
2017 1st round pick (Top 3 Protected)
I’d like to take a minute to speak to Vlade Divac directly for a few moments, if you would excuse us. With a loaded draft class on the horizon, I can see why you would want to get as many potentially high draft picks as possible. With the Pelicans currently being 11 games under .500, I can also see why they might be a desirable trade partner. But, Vlade, you have to realize that making the Pelicans better by giving them DeMarcus freaking Cousins makes that pick much, much less valuable. Just look at the standings sir. The Pelicans are just 2.5 games out of the 8th seed. And that was before you gave them Cousins, who, paired with Anthony Davis, forms the best front court in the NBA. That means that there is a very, very real possibility that the pick you just traded a top 10 talent for could fall out of the lottery. Might want to think that one through a little better next time bud. Alright, I’m done. Thanks for your time, Mr. Divac; I hope you spend more of it being a better general manager sometime.
2017 2nd round pick
Hahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha. That’s all I have to say.
But in all seriousness, amazing NBA players have been drafted in the second round. The likes of Draymond Green and Manu Ginobili immediately come to mind. But both of those picks were made by franchises that have a proven history of properly evaluating talent. And the Kings? Well, they drafted Georgios Papagiannis with the 13 overall pick last year. Think that’s properly evaluating talent? Yeah, me neither.
New Orleans Receives
Photo Courtesy of The Sacramento Bee
I really do think that Cassipi was a very smart yet sneaky inclusion in this trade for the Pelicans. Cassipi shot almost 41% from three point land, and his floor spacing ability could prove to be useful for a Pelicans team that doesn’t have a knockdown spot-up three point shooter. But, I know what you’re really here for, so I’m not going to waste your time any more…
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
2x Olympic Gold Medalist. All-Rookie First Team. 3x NBA All-Star. Emotional lesbian. Such are the accolades of DeMarcus Cousins. Simply put, Cousins is one of, if not the best, big men in the National Basketball Association. He’s currently averaging almost 28 points a game to go with 11 rebounds and 5 assists. That’s not even touching on his 1.3 blocks per game and his 35% shooting from three point land. In my opinion, there is no other player in the NBA who can be a dominating physical force in the paint and also step out to the perimeter and punish opposing defenses with his jumper. I believe that if not for his perceived temperament issues, Cousins would be universally recognized as the best big in the league, and nobody else would even come close. And now, he’ll be sharing a front court with Anthony Davis, a player who is easily a top 5 talent in the NBA. Together, they are the most threatening and unique front court duo in the league today, and perhaps in league history. Getting Cousins was a slam dunk for the Pelicans.
Statistics and Other Notes are courtesy of NBA.com