Did The Kings Make A Mistake By Trading DeMarcus Cousins Four Days Before The NBA Trade Deadline?
After months and months worth of trade rumors, the Sacramento Kings finally decided to part ways with their longtime superstar DeMarcus Cousins on Sunday night, just one hour after the 2017 NBA All-Star Game ended. They reportedly fielded offers from a handful of other teams before eventually settling on a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal will send Cousins and his Kings teammate Omri Casspi to the Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round draft pick, and a 2017 second-round draft pick. And the question that everyone is asking now isn’t whether or not the Kings got a good deal—the consensus is that the Pelicans got the better of the trade—it’s whether or not the Kings should have traded Cousins with so much time remaining before the NBA trade deadline.
The trade deadline is set for 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, which means that the Kings could have spent four additional days trying to work out trades involving Cousins with other teams. They could have tried to convince the Boston Celtics to part ways with some of their draft picks. They also could have tried to get the Los Angeles Lakers to agree to a deal involving their young stud Brandon Ingram. They even could have made their intentions to trade Cousins public and opened up the bidding for his services. Chances are, someone would have given them a better offer than the one the Pelicans ultimately settled on. Or at the very least, the Kings could have forced the Pelicans to include more in their offer if they had just waited a few more days. They had all the leverage in the world.
The Kings, for whatever reason, chose not to do that, though. Instead of waiting an extra day or two to put some pressure on the Pelicans by talking with other teams, they quietly pulled the trigger on the trade on Sunday night, despite the fact that Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac later admitted that he may have had better offers from other teams on the table just days earlier. If that’s true, what’s to say that those same trade offers wouldn’t have presented themselves again once the trade deadline got closer?
At the end of the day, the Kings could end up in a decent position if Hield pans out to be the kind of player people are expecting him to be and if the Pelicans’ first-round draft pick ends up being a high selection. But it’s hard not to think the Kings could have done even better in the trade if they would have just been a little bit more patient. They waited for months to trade Cousins, so why did they rush to trade him when they did? No one seems to know, but it’s the part of the trade that could end up coming back to bite them.