DeMarcus Cousins was finally traded by the Kings, but what really took the NBA world by storm was how little Sacramento got in return.
The New Orleans Pelicans were able to snag the enormously talented Cousins for a value pack of Hydrox biscuits and a 24-can carton of Pepsi. Regardless of what you think of DeMarcus Cousins, as a player or a person, it’s not unreasonable to think that Sacramento could’ve gotten a better haul than Buddy Hield (23-year-old rookie), Langston Galloway (likely waived), Tyreke Evans (pending free agent, potential buyout candidate), New Orleans’ 2017 first-round pick (top-three protected, likely to fall outside the lottery) and a 2017 second-round pick from Philadelphia. Hell, Sacramento even threw in DBB favorite Omri Casspi. This makes what comes next rather puzzling.
Sources: Pistons engaged Kings on a Drummond for Cousins swap earlier this season. Kings declined offer then. Unclear if Pistons now in mix.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 20, 2017
What Scotto appears to be implying here is that the Pistons called earlier in the season, not during the mad flurry that was occurring around the same time as the KD-Westbrook reconciliation. The interesting part here, though, is that the Kings rejected the offer. What the offer contained is anyone’s guess, but my best estimate would probably be Drummond + some form of a first-round pick + any necessary filler such as Darrun Hilliard, because the Kings love mediocre shooting guards.
Also, it’s unclear if the Pistons did indeed re-enter the sweepstakes over the last 24 hours as Cousins became more available, because it’s hard not to imagine that this package from Detroit could’ve beaten the Pelicans offer (note: New Orleans basically offered this for Jahlil Okafor - minus Hield). Basically, the Kangz were in full “fuck it, just leave please” mode.
Kings have not been seeking equal value in Cousins deal, source tells @TheVertical. Young talent, draft picks, expiring contracts primarily.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) February 20, 2017
This is startling, that you have a guy averaging 28 and 11, and you’re giving him away for free. Ignoring the Kings silliness (they let Vivek have the final say), why would they reject Andre Drummond?
Sources: Divac delivered to owner Sunday what front office believes are two best Cousins trade proposals. Of course, @Vivek has final say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 20, 2017
There’s really only one reason I can think of as to why the Pelicans offer is more enticing.
Andre Drummond’s contract
Andre Drummond signed a contract extension that will pay him an average of around $25 million through the 2020-21 season. Big money? Sure. But you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone calling Dre’s post-rookie max any sort of albatross. Last year he was a first-time All-Star who averaged 16 and 15 and led his franchise back to the playoffs after a seven-year hiatus. Sure, Dre has regressed a little this season, but it’s hardly the worst contract in the league.
Judging by the haul Sacramento settled for, it seemed they valued cap space more than anything else, and maybe Cousins’ value was a little lower than expected due to “attitude problems” and the general Kings tax. Here are some other reported offers that were rejected:
- Brandon Knight, TJ Warren, Alex Len, multiple first-round picks from the Suns
- Lakers refused to add Brandon Ingram to deal
- Original NOLA offer was centered around Hield and multiple firsts, arguably better than what they settled for
Look, I have no idea what the Kings were thinking with this one. They could’ve waited until the offseason for a better haul. They still had several days before the deadline. But this has not gone down well with other players and agents, who see this as a betrayal after the Kings publicly affirmed intentions to commit to Boogie.
Several agents have already told me that SAC has lost all credibility after assuring Cousins he would not be traded this year & extended.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 20, 2017
Now DBB can all feel sad that we missed out on such a phenomenal player, but perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. Boogie will be a free agent after next season, and according to his agent, Jarinn Akana, Cousins is unlikely to sign an extension with any team that trades for him, as they will not be able to offer the $200 million designated veteran player exception (Aka the “Supermax”) that only Sacramento could.
But DeMarcus Cousins' agent Jarinn Akana tells ESPN that Cousins is unlikely to sign a summer extension with any team that trades for him— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2017
If all that is true, then Andre Drummond would have been a pretty massive price for an 18-month rental, so maybe we should rejoice in the Kangz glory and watch as the Tolliverse leads them to the promised land once more.