I was monitoring trade chatter before the All Star Break because I thought things would die down over All Star Weekend and pick up again after the weekend. How wrong was I? This morning, I found out that this Mammoth trade has taken place. Here is the deal in summary:
The kings traded Demarcus Cousins aka Boogie (and Omri Caspi) to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a First Round Pick and a Second Round Pick.
Boogie is my guy. I have followed him closely since he was drafted in 2010 when the rap on him was pretty bad. I remember someone saying he would be out of the league in 5 years. He proved them wrong and over the last seasons has averaged 22 and 11, made the All Star Team 3 times, the second All NBA team twice and is currently averaging somewhere between 27 points and 11 rebounds. He is a Bonafide Superstar and one of the top 3 big men in the game. The Kings for their part have not gone a good job of surrounding him with the right pieces to be in a winning situation. Some would say this is responsible for his temper tantrums (He currently leads the league in Technical Fouls with 19). For someone who just wants to be loved, his team does not get him.
There is a really good piece written by Kevin Arnovitz at ESPN that goes in to detail about the dysfunctional kings organisation. This is why I wanted Chris Hansen to take the team to Seattle. Time to break the trade down
Why did the Pelicans make the deal?
Dell Demps’ head is on the line and I guess he had to make a deal to give the Pelicans that extra push to make the play offs. The big question is does Boogie get them there? Even if they get there, how far can they go? They’re 2.5 games out of the last playoff place. I said it before that I don’t see Denver holding on to that spot. I had Portland as the favourites for that spot but I think with this trade, the Pelicans will make up that space. Asik falls to the bench, Davis’ body takes less of a pounding and he probably plays zero minutes at center. They also have Motiejunas on the roster. Davis and Boogie are not one dimensional so you know they are skilled enough to play together. Boogie in particular is a good passer. Having said that, I think there is a chance this whole thing doesn’t work out. I don’t remember the last 2 big man tandem that worked in the league Blake and Deandre don’t count Deandre is more of a defensive specialist Bynum and Gasol? (maybe I’m reaching). It will be interesting to see how they work. The other question is how will Boogie fare with the front office? we know he is big on trust and by all indications the Pelicans front office is first class. Alvin Gentry is also a players coach so they should get along. Also don’t forget both Davis and Boogie went to University of Kentucky so they should get along.
The reason why I think you had to make the trade is you’re the Pelicans is this if it all blows up and you can’t resign him this summer, what do you lose? Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and a second round pick (meh?) losing the first round pick will suck if the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs and the pick falls in the lottery. But Boogie is on the other side so you HAVE to make the deal. According to Ramona Shelboune, the Pelicans are confident they can resign boogie this summer anyway. What sucks for Boogie is that he no longer becomes eligible for that $209 Million Designated Player Contract. The max he can get from the Pelicans this summer is $180 Million. $180 Million is a lot of money so is $30 Million.
Why did the Kings Make the trade?
Honestly I don’t know. If they aim is to trade your best player by a mile and hit the reset button then you have to hold out for a Kings Ransom (see what I did there? ;)). The problem is you are never really sure with the Kings. They have been in reset mode since 2010. They have had about 6 coaches in 7 years. I don’t trust that this reset will change anything. They don’t even have a raft of young players and draft picks with which to rebuild. What I actually think they need is to reset the front office and get a team with some actual direction. In the time since they started their “rebuild” lots of teams have rebuilt their teams and are competitive again.
If they are serious about youth and rebuilding, why are you bringing in 2 players who play the same position as Ben Mclemore. I bet they will try to complicate things further this summer by saying they want to keep Mclemore and offer him a contract that doesnt make sense.
What did they get?
Although I didn’t follow College Basketball last year, I understand Buddy Hield was one of the best players last year so I have kept an eye on him this season. His play has been inconsistent as you can expect from a rookie. He puts together a string of good games from time to time and hasn’t really had a break out game. His career high is 21 points. Clearly both the Kings and Pelicans must be high on him since he is basically the center piece of the deal. It is his first year and with good teammates and coaching staff, he could be a star. Not a huge fan of Tyreke Evans to be honest. I think he is part of the deal so the salaries can match. I remember he got a big contract a few years ago. He is a free agent in the summer so I’m sure the Kings didn’t mind throwing him in. As for Langston Galloway, I understand he will be waived so no need to go into all that detail.
Since I typically tend to keep score on these things, this one goes to the Pelicans. The popular opinion is that the Kings got fleeced. I stand with that Narrative.
More to Come?
I hear the Bulls and Celtics are in discussions for Jimmy Butler. If that goes through, I think the Celtics can take the Cavs in 7. Not sure of their chances against Golden State though. Wilson Chandler is drawing interest from the Clippers and I’d love that deal for them but I’m not sure what they can give up. Brandon Bass, Maurice Speights? Denver are trying to make the playoffs and won’t let one of their leading scorers leave for cheap.
*Update: I just heard that the first round pick is top 3 protected. That means that the kings only get to keep the pick if it falls in the top 3. If that is true, that means this deal is an absolute travesty for the Kings. My word, what s shambles!