DeMarcus Cousins has finally been traded after 6 and a half seasons in Sacramento. It is a day that many thought may never come – including, probably, Cousins himself. But it happened. The Kings finally decided to let go and found a willing trade partner. Here is the moment that Cousins appeared to have learned he was moving for the first time following the All-Star game.
His reaction looked like combination of mild surprise and relief giving way to extreme happiness. The Pelicans and Cousins now have work to do.
New Orleans is 2.5 games out of the 8th seed in the West. One of the teams ahead of them is the Kings so that’s one obstacle out of the way. So they just need to pass Portland and Denver to get into the playoffs. The bad news is that Minnesota and Dallas are each within a game of the Pelicans. Even if pairing the 4th and 5th leading scorers in the NBA works out, there’s no guarantee that the Pelicans make the playoffs.
And speaking of the playoffs, Cousins and Davis have a combined zero playoff wins between them. And that’s games, not series. What’s waiting for two dominant big men should they make the playoffs this season? The Golden State Warriors.
So this is trade is more about the future. The Pelicans must improve spots 3-15 this offseason at whatever cost necessary or DeMarcus Cousins could start to think about signing elsewhere when he becomes a free agent during the summer of 2018. Cousins had half a decade in Sacramento and loyalty could have played a role in his re-signing there. He won’t even have time to buy a house by the time the Pelicans get bounced by the Warriors.
And we haven’t even discussed how two high usage power forwards will be able to co-exist in today’s NBA. Pretty well, you would think. I mean, they are both awesome at basketball and Cousins is 3rd among big men in assists. Maybe they will be dominant together and force the league to change. Or maybe teams will double them both and the Pelicans will have to rely on Jrue Holiday and… uh… Tim Frazier and E’Twuan Moore to beat them. It might be time to start shopping that 2018 1st round pick.