On the eve of the trading deadline, the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans made the biggest splash of the season. The Kings traded often criticized big man Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins to the Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first round pick, and a 2017 second round pick. The reaction here should be: “WHAT?”. The Kings traded away a perennial all star for a bunch of mediocre or young players. For the Pelicans, it seems like a great trade, gaining another all star to support their star Anthony Davis. This team seemed unstoppable, with a frontcourt that we haven’t seen since David Robinson and Tim Duncan teamed up in San Antonio. However, is this team really good enough to make a difference come playoff time, or is this a project that the Pelicans are investing in for years to come?
As a Kings fan, your jaw should have dropped when you saw this trade. How could a franchise that was already terribly run get even worse? Why is Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadivé still allowed to run a franchise? That, I can not answer. There had to have been a huge issue with Cousins that the franchise was willing to accept a bunch of role players for an all star. The whole situation just doesn’t make sense. For Vlade Divac to come out and say, “We had a better offer two days ago” is astonishing. This man just admitted that the Kings got a worse trade due to his ineptitude. Then, Divac defended the “star” piece the Kings received in the trade by saying that Buddy Hield will be the next Stephen Curry. Vlade Divac is comparing a rookie who was a fantastic scorer in college and a good shooter in the NBA, to arguably the best player in the league. This trade exemplifies why this Kings team is terribly run.
For the Pelicans, their deadly lineup has not been so deadly. The Pelicans are 1-4 since trading for Cousins, and have witnessed Cousins’ suspension after his 18th technical foul of the season. In games he has played since the trade, Cousins is averaging 23 points per game, 15.3 rebounds per game, and 4 assists per game. Cousins has also been suspended a game, fouled out of two games, and been caught on camera with panties on his head during Mardi Gras. Just your typical week for the big man who has created drama on and off the court in recent years. Davis, meanwhile, has been averaging 33 points per game, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists. Davis’ workload has not been cut down with the addition, as Davis has had to pick up the slack in many of the games that Cousins has not played in or fouled out in. The two just haven’t seemed to mesh with each other on the court. When on the court together, the Pelicans are scoring just 95.8 points per 100 possessions, which would be the worst mark in the league if it were sustained. The duo’s shooting percentages also dip when on the court together. Cousins is shooting 43% and Davis 44% when they are on the court together. They both shoot significantly better when only one of them is on the court: Cousins shoots 60% and Davis 51%. Defensively, the Pelicans don’t get much better with the big men on the court. The Pelicans 106.9 points per 100 possession is an increase from the 104.7 points per possession they were giving up prior to the Cousins trade. Now it is very early in this experiment, yet if the Pelicans want to salvage this season and their future, they better change something soon or it will be another offseason spent at home for Boogie and Davis.