Did the Kings win the DeMarcus Cousins trade?
Usually in the NBA, if a team acquires a star in a trade, that team is the winner of the trade. Is that really the case between DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings?
Right around the same time as the final buzzer of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, the Kings traded their superstar center to the New Orleans Pelicans for veterans Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, who were noting more than placeholders, then rookie Buddy Hield, a first round and second round pick in the upcoming draft. That draft brought them Justin Jackson and Frank Mason.
Hield was the clear centerpiece of the trade. After leading the Oklahoma Sooners to the Final Four in senior year, the Pelicans thought Hield was going to be a budding star alongside Anthony Davis. I joked with Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry that the reason why he was traded to Sacramento was because he dropped the beads at Mardi Gras and mistakingly picked them up from the ground, thus bestowing bad luck onto the team. Turns out the trade was a blessing in disguise.
All three were on hand in Sacramento’s 107-99 win over the Orlando Magic and Hield finished with a game high 25 points with 11 rebounds for the double-double. Hield followed that up with a season high 27 points in a 146-115 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Hield seems to be the best player on a Kings team that is on the rise. It comes at no surprise that he has scored over 20 points in each of the Kings five consecutive wins.
Meanwhile Cousins has been reduced to the secret weapon of the Golden State Warriors.