The Sacramento Kings made a trade before the deadline that shook the NBA, and might’ve just change it drastically for the next few seasons. The trade sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans, and their 2017 first and second round picks. When this trade happened, it looked like the Pelicans got away with highway robbery, but when you look closer into the trade, you’ll find that the Kings might have gotten away with a steal here.
— PelicansHoops (@PelicansHoops) March 11, 2017
Since trading for Cousins, the Pelicans are 2-5. Therefore, they aren’t advancing in the playoff race as expected to do when they paired him up with fellow All-Star and Kentucky Wildcat, Anthony Davis. The two All-Stars are arguably the best frontcourt in the league respectively, and just can’t make it happen in New Orleans. Is it team chemistry, or is it that the two don’t play well alongside each other? Whatever it is, Davis and Cousins need to figure it out because they’re effecting this franchise negatively, and making Sam Hinkie look like a good general manager.
If Cousins were to stay on the Kings, he would’ve been paid, potentially earning a 5-year, $209 million deal. The Kings can definitely afford that, but they didn’t want to give him that. He was a negative energy for the Kings and led the league in technical fouls.
Now for the Kings side of this trade. Yes, the Kings gave up the best center in the league for young players and two draft picks, but there was no steal for any team here. In reality, both teams got almost equal value.
Before the trade, Buddly Hield averaged 8.6 points. Post-trade, Hield averages 13.5 points per game. The Kings currently hold the sixth and seventh overall picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. That makes the future in Sacramento much more promising. In the mock draft, the Kings take Dennis Smith Jr. and Jonathan Isaac, which immediately help out their team.
Buddy Hield w/ the Pelicans: 8.6 PPG, 39% FG, 37% 3PT.
Buddy Hield w/ the Kings: 13 PPG, 52% FG, 47% 3PT.
— Leading NBA ™ (@LeadingNBA_) March 7, 2017
This gives the Kings a projected lineup of Dennis Smith/Darren Collison, Buddy Hield, Jonathan Isaac, Willie Cauley Stein, Skal Labissiere. With this roster, it doesn’t look like the Kings would make the playoffs, meaning another lottery selection. The Kings could use a player like DeAndre Ayton or Michael Porter.
Buddy Hield is 23 years old which is why he is thought not to be a player that a team can build around in the future. Teams want young, raw players with potential so that they can build them up over time. The good thing about drafting an older player like Hield is that they can come into the league and make an impact right away. Just look at Milwaukee Bucks’ rookie, Malcolm Brogdon (24 years old), who was drafted with the thirty-sixth overall pick, and is the front runner to win Rookie of the Year with Joel Embiid.