How was this in any way supposed to benefit the Kings?
Throughout the history of organized sports, trades have always held a special place in the imagination of fans, mainly because a good trade has the power to shake up competition in a heartbeat. However, while there are more than enough good trades there are obviously some historically bad trades. And earlier this month, one of the worst trades in NBA history was executed by the Sacramento Kings when they traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.
To be clear, it was already well known that the Kings were likely going to try and trade Cousins, despite news coming out a few days before that Cousins was planning on resigning with the team. Despite his massive talent, the Kings have always had issues with Cousins’ volatility on the court. That said, moving him isn’t the issue I or anyone else has, though an equally good argument could definitely be made for keeping him. The issue is the deal in which he was moved, because with all due respect for the players moving the other way, this trade was possibly the worst trade in recent memory.
The trade that sent Cousins to New Orleans is as follows: Pelicans trade Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and 1st and 2nd round picks in 2017 draft and Kings trade DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi. Immediately after this deal was announced only a couple of hours after the 2017 All-Star Game, it was panned almost universally. Trading perhaps one of the most dominant centers of the 21st Century for a promising rookie, some picks and some bit-part players is a terrible deal orchestrated by Kings GM Vlade Divac. But Divac may actually have made the situation worse.
He told the press the day after that there was actually a better trade offer on the table and he turned it down. There is no way to describe that other than calling it stupid. To illustrate this, if you’re shopping for fresh lettuce, are you going to buy fresh lettuce or day-old lettuce? Because Divac opted for the day-old lettuce in this situation.
In fact, things have gotten so bad that people are calling for Divac to be fired. So Divac did probably the last imaginable thing that he could: He came out, said that the Kings will be better off for getting rid of DeMarcus Cousins in 2 years’ time, and if they’re not, he’ll step down. At this rate, I don’t even know if he’ll be allowed to make it to next season.