Source: Eye On Basketball via Twitter
The New Orleans Pelicans pulled off one of the most astounding trades in the NBA in living memory by acquiring the services of DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings agreed to part with one of the finest players in the league for somewhat meagre compensation, in the form of a top-three protected 2017 first-round pick, a 2017 second-round pick, 2016 first-round pick Buddy Hield along with veterans Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans.
News of the deal was greeted with bemusement from across the media, given that Cousins was enjoying the best season of his career. The 26-year-old was averaging over 27 points and ten rebounds per game, being named an All-Star for the third season on the bounce.
New Orleans now have the benefit of pairing Cousins with four-time All-Star Anthony Davis, allowing the club to boast one of the most formidable front-court duos in the league for the foreseeable future.
As a result of the move, Alvin Gentry’s men have given their hopes of reaching the post-season a shot in the arm, but remain firm outsiders for the NBA Championship – at least this term.
The Pelicans are backed in the latest bet365 NBA odds at +25000 to win the Western Conference, highlighting the challenge ahead of them in the remaining matches this term.
Trades for top-end players are not the norm in the NBA, although that’s not to say that men have not gone on to greater things after being moved from one side to another.
The example of Isaiah Thomas proves this case as he has gone from strength-to-strength since his move to Boston Celtics from the Phoenix Suns. The 28-year-old has turned himself into an MVP candidate this season, putting together an outstanding campaign to lead Brad Stevens’ men towards the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference.
However, trades don’t always go to plan – even after initial success. After seven-and-a-half years with the Denver Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony made the move to the New York Knicks in one of the most complex deals in the history of the league. At least a dozen players were involved in the acquisition to send the then three-time All-Star to Madison Square Garden.
Anthony performed to an extremely high level in his early years with the Knicks, including notching several more All-Star berths and becoming the NBA scoring champion in the 2012-13 campaign.
Despite his fine outings on the court, the forward could not transform the success of the club into titles, and as New York are approaching another term with a losing record, they are preparing to move him on in the off-season.
Even though the Pelicans may have come out on top in the initial coverage of the trade, there’s a long way to go before the move is deemed a success.
Cousins is an outstanding player and could turn the club in a force that could compete at the top of the Western Conference, although he could easily fail to blend with the current roster and, like Anthony, produce strong statistics, but not on the bigger matches in the playoffs.
Time will only tell with this deal…