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Cousins’s New Home

What will Demarcus Cousins do now that he’s been moved to a new home in New Orleans?

Gaby Fraifer, Staff Writer

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AP
TRADED: Cousins is seen hugging a former coach after playing the Kings for the first time since leaving.

 

Hearing about the trade involving DeMarcus Cousins astonished me at first. Then again, it was the Sacramento Kings making the trade, so I wasn’t surprised. The Kings have an illustrious history of making some really bad trades. To quote the Kings General Manager Vlade Divac, “I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years… If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way.” (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2695104-vlade-divac-says-hell-step-down-if-demarcus-cousins-trade-isnt-a-success)

 

So I guess we now know which manager is going to get fired in the next two years. But we aren’t here to discuss Divac’s horrible moves, we’re here to talk about the technique master himself, DeMarcus Cousins.

 

If you’ve been living under a rock these past couple of weeks, the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway. When I heard about the trade, my first thought was, “What?” The Kings had given away their future star and franchise player in exchange for an unproven rookie, a man with no knees and a benchwarmer.
You might be asking, “What about the picks?” First of all, picks can be unreliable, in that you could receive a really bad player or a really good player. Second off, the Pelicans are probably going to be a NBA playoff-contending team with this trade, and these picks are midway through each round, which isn’t that good. The Kings had proven talent in DeMarcus Cousins, who had the potential to bring them to NBA playoffs for the first time in years. I know the man has a bit of temper, but there are ways to control that. Cousins is the best big man in the league right now, and without him the future of the Kings is like the future of the Nets — worthless. They had a chance to show the league this year that they could have be a playoff-contending team. Heck, they might have even beat the Warriors.

 

AP
BOLD MOVE: Vlade Divac, general manager of the Kings, seems to be on the hot seat now after making this huge trade to send Cousins to the Pelicans.

 

All jokes aside, the Kings raised Cousins to be the player he is today, and the fact that he has been able to take the Kings (that would have been last in the league without him) and bring them close to NBA playoffs is pretty good in my eyes. The only thing the Kings are probably celebrating is the fact that they saved a ton of money getting rid of Cousins, but at the same time the team lost a majority of Cousins’s fan base.

 

Cousins was suppose to make $210 million under his contract, but now that he has moved to the Pelicans in the final year of his contract, he can only be re-signed with a maximum amount of $180 million over the next five years. This is because of a new collective bargaining agreement. Cousins was eligible to sign a veteran-designated-player contract extension with the Kings this summer. This was built into the CBA so that teams could offer their star player more of an incentive to re-sign with them. This long-term deal is only eligible for players that want to re-sign with the team that drafted them. Since Cousins is moving to the Pelicans, he can no longer get the grand extension waiting for him in Sacramento. Even though the Kings saved themselves a couple bucks, we’re going to have to see what kind of horrendous move Divac makes next. Divac might go down in history for all the wrong reasons. It all depends on his elaborate plan to rebuild the Kings organization without their best player. Well done Divac, well done. What’s done is done, though.

 

Cousins still has a few things he can do to save the Pelicans. Let’s not forget that Cousins is the best center in the league at the moment. He was averaging a solid 27.6 points per game with the Kings, along with 10.7 rebounds per game while also averaging 1.3 blocks per game. Now Cousins is also teamed up with the man leading the franchise, Anthony Davis. Both Davis and Cousins played together at the University of Kentucky, so they have playing experience together and can figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses pretty quickly. Because the two great players have experience playing together, it should not be too hard for Cousins to settle into the system with Davis leading the way.

 

AP
THE FACILITATOR: Jrue Holiday is pictured here dribbling a basketball. He may be the one of the big reasons that the Pelicans may be able to get to the playoffs because of his ability to get the ball to his big men, Davis and Cousins.

 

With the addition of Cousins to this team, New Orleans has a chance to make a strong push to become playoff contenders, and could also be seen as a surprise team come playoff time, if they make it. The Pelicans did not have to give away their skillful point guard, Jrue Holiday, in the deal, which means the Pelicans could potentially be a triple threat. Holiday would just have to make a couple of dribble moves, get it to one of the big men (either Davis or Cousins) and just let them do what they do best: score. Cousins can also serve as a shooter, with his decent shooting stats. He also has a 35 percent three-point percentage, which is pretty good for a big man. The eighth seed for the playoffs has the Pelican’s name on it. If they are able to get to that eighth seed, they will most likely be going up against the Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors’ recent loss of Kevin Durant, the Warriors are on track to keep losing the size of their team, which is their number one weakness.

 

The duo of Davis and Cousins may just have a chance to pull off one of the biggest playoff upsets of all time to eliminate the Warriors in the first round. As long as Davis and Cousins can regain the chemistry they had at Kentucky, I don’t see why this team can’t be seen as a threat in the West. Ultimately we have to wait and see what becomes of the Pelicans, and whether Cousins re-signs with the Pelicans or not.

 

After years of living in the shadows, the Pelicans have moved themselves into the spotlight — a move that benefits not only their team, but also contributes to a newly-motivated fan base. The Kings are definitely going to be looking back at this trade in the next couple of years, cursing at the decision that Divac made that day to trade Cousins.

 

AP
REUNITED AGAIN: Cousins and Davis were once teammates at Kentucky, and are soon to be reunited down in sunny New Orleans.

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