Photo Courtsey of Brandon Dill/AP
Not five minutes after final buzzer of the All-Star game on Sunday night. Breaking news came in that Sacramento traded DeMarcus Cousins who is by far their best player. What the Kings received in return was fifty cents on the dollar offer from New Orleans for the best center in the NBA. Now the Kings are left with a barren roster that needs to move veterans and not enough draft capital to restock the team with talent to compete. Owner Vivek Ranadive concluded that he didn’t want to pay Cousins a five year 210-million-dollar extension that he was eligible for this offseason even though his contract expires after the 2018 season. The decision to trade Cousins and fail to get somewhat equal talent back for a player of his caliber is a disservice to the fans and season ticket holders that won’t even be able to give away their tickets now.
The Incompetence of upper management never building a nucleus of talent around Cousins in seven seasons is inexcusable. Sacramento had plenty of chances to keep a player, draft someone better or not fire former head coach Mike Malone who is the “Boogie Whisperer”. This is exactly what the Kings deserve for thinking that Cousins was the cause of why the team is underperforming year in and year out. The Kings will sell this to their fans as “This is a culture change” “We will be good soon” “Buddy Hield has Steph Curry in him” “No one player is bigger than a team”. They can send whatever message they want, at the end of the day the fans have nothing to cheer for and will not have confidence in management to turn things around until changes are made.
The return the Kings received was the Fu Fu platter of Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans expiring contract, Langston Galloway, 2017 first round pick (Top 3) protected and a 2017 second round pick. The Pelicans hit a home run, talent wise and have to be for looking around the room and saying to themselves “Quick take this deal before they hang up and another team trades for him” Do the Kings live under a rock??” “Are we about to have the best front court in the league”? Now the Kings must rely on the first rounder which could turn into a non-lottery pick if New Orleans makes the playoffs and by some chance if it lands inside the top three New Orleans keeps the pick. What a total and complete failure by the Kings to think that Buddy Hield and this draft pick can turn the organization around. Many people around the league during the season have been saying Hield is a career backup who will play 12 years in the league.
The days before Thursdays trade deadline will be huge for Sacramento if they want to complete this re build. Washington needs help off the bench and very well could offer the Kings a first round pick for Darren Collison. Toronto is ready to go all-in and could look at Ben McLemore (the last remaining remotely talented player on the roster) whose contract is up at the end of the season for shooting off the bench. Tanking is out of the question, if Sacramento’s own pick ends up ahead of Philly then the Sixers have the right to swap as part of a trade that happened in 2015. Kings fans can thank management for that stupid deal that is one of the worst in the last 15 years. Sacramento will also have to give Philly their 2019 pick as well. The smartest thing that Kings fans and team employees can do now is collectively run into a burning building without protective gear. Anything is better than watch a team that has worse talent than Brooklyn now. All the Kings can hope for is to stock up on as many picks as possible and try to hit a homerun in the draft and with how management has drafted, good luck with that. One thing is for certain besides saving your money on next year’s season tickets. Is ownership having no idea how to evaluate talent and was infatuated with Hield to the extent that they were willing to trade their best player since Chris Webber to get him what a shame.