Every year, it seems like we do this song and dance with DeMarcus Cousins. Sometime around the trade deadline, rumors pick up that the Kings are listening to offers, only to keep Cousins in Sacramento for another year.
But finally, Cousins is reportedly on his way out of town. The Kings have traded Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN’s Marc Stein.
This move isn’t a huge surprise, but things certainly picked up really quickly this year. For a while, it looked like Sacramento was committed to keeping Cousins and trying to sign him once his contract ended after the 2017-18 season. Instead, reports came out early on Sunday afternoon that the Kings were in serious discussions with the Pelicans about a team to send Boogie to New Orleans. Things went quiet for a while, and then as the 2017 All-Star Game was ending, tons of reports came out that Sacramento was actively trying to move Cousins.
Now, New Orleans made a serious move by acquiring the best center in the NBA to go next to the league’s best power forward, giving them a terrifying 1-2 punch in the frontcourt. Cousins is averaging 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.3 blocks a night while shooting 45.1 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from three, and 77 percent from the free throw line.
The Kings don’t get a ton in return considering Cousins’ talent, but they will receive a first-round pick that, as of now, would be a late lottery pick, as well as a brief reunion with Tyreke Evans on a $10 million expiring contract and a young shooting guard in Buddy Hield (Langston Galloway is reportedly expected to be waived. They also had other motivation to make this move, according to Wojnarowski.
It’s clear that the Kings decided it was time for a full-on rebuild, and are going all-in on gathering draft picks and young assets.