The NBA trade deadline is always one of the craziest times of the year. Multiple trades happen at once as general managers who were holding out for better deals finally cave and make a trade. Let’s take a look at the biggest trade so far – DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.
Easily the most talked about deal of the deadline, the Kings made headlines when they traded away their franchise player for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and a few picks. Cousins, who is averaging 27.8 points per game, is now a teammate of Anthony Davis who is averaging 27.7 points per game. These two were already considered the best big men in the league and now they are on the same team. Without a doubt they will form the best front court in the league and possibly when all is said and done they will be one of the best duos in history.
What’s in Store for the Pelicans?
The Pelicans are clearly in a better position than they were before this trade. This move should allow them to make the playoffs and possibly get past the first round. The combination of these two stars also makes New Orleans a prime free agent destination. The chance to play alongside such incredible talent is something that should attract good role players and veterans who are looking for a championship.
One of the problems this creates for the Pelicans is that their only other legitimate scorer is Jrue Holiday, who while still young and talented has had problems with injuries in the past. If New Orleans wants to make the playoffs with a legitimate chance of winning then they will need to make a trade for more depth before the deadline. Long term they will have to be crafty with their salary cap because Cousins and Davis are getting paid a considerable amount. But I think despite these minor issues the Pelicans made a phenomenal trade that will help them now and in the long term.
Where do the Kings Go From Here?
The Kings have infuriated their entire fan base over the last decade and this trade was no exception. After all the idiotic moves the Kings have made in the last few years now trading away the only good player they’ve ever drafted seems like insanity, but let’s take a look at where the Kings are at and see if they are actually in as bad a place as most fans seem to think they are.
At the All-Star break the Kings were only a game and a half out of the playoffs. Now they will most likely start to fall in the standings. Hopefully they land a draft pick in the lottery where they can find a franchise changing player. The Kings’ General Manager seems to think newly acquired Buddy Hield has the potential of Steph Curry. While it is true that Hield drew comparisons to Curry in college, his career on the Pelicans was disappointing at best averaging only about 8 points a game. Curry’s numbers were more than double that when he was the same age. Despite the poor comparison, Hield could surprise us as there is no doubt that he does have potential. Overall, I believe the Kings may not be worse off then they were before the deal, but they are certainly not better off.
Who Really Won?
There really are no big positives on the Sacramento end of this deal, and the Pelicans are elated to have a new dynamic duo. I think its obvious that New Orleans won this trade but the Kings may still end up benefiting from it. Both teams are likely to still be active before the trade deadline so it will be interesting to see who makes the next move.