Cousins trade to Pelicans shakes up Western Conference

The trade of Demarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans shakes up the west.

Derick E. Hingle—X02835
Feb 17

DeMarcus Cousins spent most of Sunday’s All-Star Game in New Orleans cheering Anthony Davis’ record-breaking 52-point performance.Shortly after the game ended, multiple outlets reported that the Sacramento Kings agreed to trade Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.Cousins will be joining forces with Davis to form a dominant frontcourt with the Pelicans (24-33). New Orleans sits 2 1/2 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.According to the reports, the Kings are dealing Cousins and forward Omri Casspi for rookie guard Buddy Hield, swingman Tyreke Evans, guard Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick obtained from the Philadelphia 76ers.This season, Cousins is averaging career highs of 29.1 points per game and 11.2 rebounds. He is shooting 45.1 percent and making a career-high 35.4 percent from 3-point range.Cousins can be a free agent following next season, and last month the Kings considered signing him to a five-year contract extension worth approximately $210 million.While Cousins played only 2:27 in the Western Conference’s 192-182 victory Sunday, multiple reports stated that the Kings were engaged in trade talks about his services.”He’s a great player, dominant in this league, of course, with all the numbers he put up,” Davis said Sunday immediately after the All-Star Game. “DeMarcus is an elite player in this league.”Later, when reports of the trade were more widespread, Davis told ESPN, “This is an unbelievable weekend. All-Star MVP and now getting Boogie. It doesn’t get better than this.”Earlier this month, Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac told ESPN that the team was not planning on trading Cousins before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.By the end of All-Star weekend, Divac presented two proposals to team owner Vivek Ranadive, who recently changed his stance about moving Cousins.According to the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers balked at the asking price when the Kings sought rookie forward Brandon Ingram.If the trade becomes official, it would end a frequently tumultuous 6 1/2 seasons for Cousinswith the Kings, who drafted him sixth overall in 2010.Despite his big numbers, Cousins clashed with coaches and the media at times. He also leads the league with 17 technical fouls.Evans is returning to Sacramento, which selected him in the first round of the 2009 draft. He averaged 17.5 points in four seasons before being sent to New Orleans in a three-team trade in July 2013.Evans is being included in the deal since he has an expiring contract. This season with New Orleans, he averaged 18.8 points in 26 games after returning from a knee injury.Hield was the Pelicans’ first-round pick last June. In 57 games, he is averaging 8.6 points.Galloway averaged 8.6 points in 55 games for the Pelicans after spending his first two seasons with the New York Knicks. According to the reports, Galloway is expected to be waived.Casspi, 28, is averaging 5.9 points in 22 games this season. He hasn’t played since Jan. 13 due to a calf injury.