The Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins for the next Stephen Curry, but general manager Vlade Divac said they had a better offer for Cousins days earlier. Hard to believe, but Vlade explained the better deal in an interview with the Sacramento Bee:
Q: Can you explain again what you meant about having a “better deal” two days before the trade? I refer to this as one of your Serbian slip-ups – something lost in translation – and included your clarification in my Sunday column. But you might want to elaborate, because that quote is out there in the ether.
A: When I was first talking with the Pelicans, it was about Buddy (Hield) and two first-round picks. I talked to DeMarcus’ agents (Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana) to inform them we were having talks, negotiating terms, and they called teams and threatened them, saying that if Cousins was traded, he would not sign an extension. (Only the Kings could offer a fifth year, at a higher percentage of salary cap, because of Cousins’ designated veteran status.) They got scared and dropped it down to a second-round pick. I thought if I waited longer, I would get less. I needed to act.
That’s incredible for so many reasons. First, Team Boogie seems like a vengeful bunch of S.O.B.s. And the idea that you could somehow get less than Buddy Hield and a second-round pick is hilarious. Can you imagine Vlade calling back and the Pelicans dropping their price so much for seemingly no reason? It must have made him forget how negotiating works.
As for the Pelicans, they finally won their first game of the DeMarcus Cousins era. Cousins did not play because he was serving a mandatory suspension for picking up his 18th technical foul. There really were no losers in this trade.