Devils Advocate: Boogie Cousins Trade
For the sake of argument.
Okay we all know that the first blockbuster trade has taken place which saw Sacramento Kings Superstar DeMarcus Cousins and Specialist Omri Casspi be sent to the New Orleans Pelicans. Sacramento has gained Rookie SG Buddy Hield, Former King Tyreke Evans, back-up PG in Langston Galloway with a 2017 1st and 2nd round picks.
Everyone so far has lauded the Pelicans for pulling off a trade like this and lambasted Vlade Divac and the whole Kings Front Office for allowing a legitimate superstar leave at such a price. But let’s say this trade turns out in the Kings favour.
Vivek Ranadivé reportedly believes Buddy Hield is a Stephen Curry level talent, now which is a tall claim. But Hield had one hell of a season in college which led him to be selected 6th overall, the Pels obviously hoping he’d be a CJ McCollum level talent immediately. He averaged 25ppg, whilst almost shooting a 50/45/88, only the free throw shooting letting him for a 50/40/90. He put up these numbers as the focal point of the Sooners offense, on the Pelicans he was thrust into a role he maybe wasn’t ready for. The Pels have major identity issues, with so many injuries and one winning season since Chris Paul left. They forced him to only shoot catch and shoot 3s. He struggled with the role to start with, shooting poorly and receiving spotty minutes, certainly not enough to accustom quickly to the league. So in Sacramento he can return to being the focal point, with a surplus of minutes to run riot with and an owner that believes in him. He can return to college form, be a sharpshooting monster next to the Sacramento Kings new (old) Point Guard Tyreke Evans.
Yes I would thing the best course of action would be to put Tyreke back at the one, he’s a nightmare match up who played his best ball as a rookie at the 1. Scoring 20ppg and 6apg, he won rookie of the year and looked to be the next big thing. Evans worked because he was 6' 6 had handles and physically couldn’t miss a lay-up if he’d tried. His body just contorted in the most awkward ways and yet his wrist still found a way to flick the ball onto the backboard with the right amount of spin. The following season the Kings played him more as a shooting guard, Paul Westphal(lus) was obviously trying to lose his job as everyone knew Tyreke couldn’t shoot 3s. Tyreke was as quick as any other guard in the league but so much stronger than the rest. He doesn’t need to be able to shoot over folk when he can bully them off the dribble and kick out to Hield.
Langston Galloway. What can I say about Gallo (I loved him as a Knick) he will give the Kings that gritty player with a chip on his shoulder that it’s been needing for so long. The Kings have had so many players that have turned up and felt entitled to winning. All flash and no fire. You know with Gallo he’s going to go hard, whether you’re 20 points down or 20 points up, he’s a pesky defender and is one of the best back up PG’s in the league, there’s nothing he does badly. Like he never used to be a good 3pt shooter, came back after his first NBA season and had added a very reliable shot from deep. He’s the perfect player to start positively affecting the Kings mentality.
Losing a talent like Cousins is a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes it allows a team to balance itself out and gain a new identity. New players can step up to the mantle. Boogie Cousins was clearly not working out, kudos to whoever in the Kings who had the balls to speak up.
I don’t know if the league has a bigger drama queen than Boogie cousins, barring Draymond Green and I don’t think we’ve seen such a young talent who’s as conservative and humble as Anthony Davis, since that guy called Tim Duncan turned up 20 years ago and his career turned out alright. Boogie is loud, has a short temper and leads the league in Technical fouls with 19 with a Rasheed Wallace-esque like season. That can wear down a personality like Davis. He’s used to turning up, putting in work and doing it as quietly and efficiently as possible. These players might just not get on well together.
DeMarcus might not like what he see’s in New Orleans and leave next season. The Pelicans might have given up some solid pieces for a 15 month rental when they clearly can’t contend in the Land of Curry and KD.