Could DeMarcus Cousins Be Traded To New Orleans?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The DeMarcus Cousins era in Sacramento is in its sixth season. You could call the last six years a bit of a disappointment, but I would call it an abomination. The Kings haven't made the playoffs once since Cousins has been in town. In fact, the Kings haven't reached the postseason since 2006. That is the definition of mediocrity. 

It's not just that the Kings haven't made the playoffs, it's that the Kings have one of the best players in the entire league on their side and they always seem to screw it up in one way or another. Take for example, selecting Jimmer Fredette with the 10th pick in the 2011 draft and then picking Isaiah Thomas with the 60th pick, who turned out to be ten times better than Fredette and then losing him in free agency.

Or the time that they gave Jason Thompson a 5 year, $30 million contract and then used their cap space the following summer to grab someone off the free agent market that played the exact same position, Carl Landry, to a 4 year, $26 million deal. 

What about in 2014, when they needed a point guard during the draft. Elfrid Payton, who's awesome, was still on the board and they picked Nik Stauskas, despite picking Ben McLemore in the previous draft. They then traded Stauskas, Thompson and Landry in a cap dump. That would be fine, if they didn't give away two pick swaps and a first round pick in 2018 to the Philadelphia 76ers. Practically giving away their future to sign, Rajon Rondo, Kosta Koufos and Marco Belinelli. To be fair those are all quality players, but since the Kings are in no position to make the playoffs, wouldn't it make more sense to keep your picks and the young stud of Stauskas in your back pocket? That should be rule number one at GM school. 

Now that I just mentioned GM school, I think it's important to mention Vivek Ranadive. Ranadive took over from the incompetent, stingy, Maloofs in 2013. However, although his intentions are good, he doesn't have a whiff of basketball sense. He has had probably the biggest hand in all of their signings and trades, even though he pays people to make those decisions for him. In fact, he got rid of his GM, Pete D'Alessandro last season, to replace him with Vlade Divac for no apparent reason, since Ranadive should be the one to blame for all of their poor decisions. Not only has he done that, but he fired Mike Malone, a good NBA head coach, who got along splendidly with Boogie Cousins. This has led to their downfall this season and the George Karl era. 

As you should know by now, Cousins reportedly lashed out at George Karl in frustration over their 2-7 record. Karl wanted to suspend him, but the front office vetoed that move, wanting to keep their star player happy. There was then the 'players only meeting' which Cousins scheduled, who the hell knows what happened in there? Now trade rumors around Cousins are swirling. It seems as if it will be him gone, Karl gone or the entire team travelling out of Sacramento. 

I think that Cousins deserves to be on a better team. He is one of the most talented basketball players I have ever watched. He is a bruising post player, can shoot comfortably from three point range (I don't know how) and rebounds like he's the only player on the court. Yet, he is stuck with the Sacramento Kings. Possibly, the worst organisation in professional sports. If Cousins doesn't demand a trade, because he deserves better, there is something wrong with him. Considering that Dan Fegan is his agent, there is a good chance that he will force his way out. Remember, Fegan orchestrated the 'Dwightmare' (parts one, two and three) and the DeAndre Jordan fiasco. Don't think that he won't do it again with another star big guy. 

So now that I've presumably convinced you that Cousins is going to leave (which I predicted in the 5 players that will be traded article), where might he end up? I've heard a lot about the Celtics being the front runner and it makes sense. The Celtics have more assets than the rest of the league combined and hold one of the most intriguing trade chips in all of the NBA: the Nets' first round pick. 

In a potential Celtics trade they would have to trade that pick (which is likely a top three pick), maybe another first rounder, a youngster like Terry Rozier or James Young and the David Lee expiring contract to make the salaries work. If I were the Kings, I would do that in a heartbeat. I would get rid of Cousins who doesn't want to be there, clear cap space, acquire what could be the first overall pick and a young player, that's as good as you could get for the troubled superstar.  

But, as a Celtics fan (of which I am one), I would be hesitant. Mainly, because the Nets' pick is going to be amazing. This upcoming draft class is also amazing. From Ben Simmons, to Skal Labissiere, to Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram, this year's draft class is going to be fantastic and contains an abundance of potential superstars. I think that Danny Ainge would be hesitant to make that move, it doesn't seem like the type of trade he would make. 

Other rumored destinations include the Wizards and the Magic. The Wizards are an interesting idea, but I don't think they'll give up Bradley Beal this early in his career (remember he's still only 22 years old). Seeing as that's the only possible trade chip they could throw into the Boogie basket, I'll eliminate them. 

Onto Orlando, they could make a run, but I doubt they would give up anyone that plays positions one through four. So that leaves just Nikola Vucevic, who is essentially a poor man's DeMarcus Cousins. I don't get why Sac-town would do that if they were just downgrading at center and were to acquire maybe a draft pick or two as an add-on. 

By process of elimination, we have eliminated all the boring teams. That leaves my darkhorse DMC trade team, who are the New Orleans Pelicans. 

The Pels were a playoff lock before the season, but due to injuries and inconsistent play, mainly on the defensive end, they have fallen to a 1-7 record and firmly out of the playoff picture as of now. They are slowly but surely gathering their players back from injury, but I think that if the Pelicans don't want to waste away the Anthony Davis era, it's time to blow this thing up a bit. I think that it's time to get rid of the concept of thinking that Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans are a trio that is going to get you far in the playoffs, especially considering how much money the three of them make together. Add those guys in with Omer Asik and that's enough money to buy a small island. 

The Pelicans need to package one or two of those good, but not great players and get themselves a second superstar to pair with Anthony Davis. So why not DeMarcus Cousins? 

With those two roaming the paint, it almost doesn't matter who else you've got around them. Cousins and Davis would play very well together, both are mobile enough to play together, Davis can protect the rim for Cousins' shortcomings on that side of the ball, Cousins can post up to make Davis purely a pick and roll threat on offense and both can space the floor for eachother. Not to mention that they share the Kentucky connection, both serving under John Calipari, so they would probably get along. 

New Orleans could dangle a lot of shiny, new assets in front of Vivek Ranadive's eyes. Eric Gordon is a capable shooting guard that has a masterful stroke, he would fix their Ben McLemore problem for sure. New Orleans could even send back Tyreke Evans, who had his historic rookie season in Sacramento. Ryan Anderson seems like a nice fit in a George Karl system, especially next to Willie Cauley-Stein who can be their designated post defender and cover for Anderson and his weak defensive efforts. Any one of those three would seemingly be interesting people to take back. If the Pelicans were to throw in a draft pick or two, I think this is a good enough trade package for Vlade Divac to at least consider. 

Anyway, I think that Cousins could very well be headed to New Orleans. That would be a scary good combo. I'm completely sold on this idea and you should be too. 

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