Ramifications of Cousins Trade

On February 20, 2017, in NBA, by Stephen

Ever have a jinx team in the NBA? I do. It’s the Sacramento Kings. I had them when they blew a 22-point lead at home to the Pacers and failed to cover and I was against them when they were 10-point underdogs against the Cavaliers in a game they won straight-up. That happened to be my NBA Game of the Year for the first half of the season.

I’m still picking up mud from that embarrassment. I am 1-4 the last five times I’ve gotten involved in Kings games. Now that I stated my credentials, I have an opinion on the Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans: Where is fake news when you really need it?

Cousins may be the best man in basketball. If he’s not the honor goes to his new teammate Anthony Davis. I hope it’s not politically incorrect to say the term “Twin Towers” is back in use.

This trade is going to have serious ramifications for the NBA because now the Kings are going to go all-out to tank. And why not? They got very little in player talent for Cousins – damaged goods Tyreke Evans, reserve Langston Galloway and non rookie-of-the-year candidate Buddy Hield complete with his 39 percent shooting and 8.6 scoring average.

The key for the Kings was getting the Pelicans’ first-round pick this season that is not protected if the team finishes among the bottom-four teams. That’s wishful thinking on Sacramento’s part with the Nets, Suns, Lakers and Magic in the league.

Things are going to get sticky for the league because it’s now clearly in the Kings’ best interests to finish with as many losses as they can pile up during their remaining 25 games. That way they can keep their own first-round pick, which would go to the Bulls if it’s not among the top 10.

I’ve always had a certain sympathy for the small-market Kings, who were absolutely robbed of winning the Western Conference Finals in 2002. I’m not a big conspiracy guy, but I believe David Stern and the league wanted to see the Lakers advance to the NBA Championship Series at the expense of the Kings. I’ve never seen a team get more ripped off than the Kings during that series.

But this trade doesn’t sit well with me. Cousins is an absolute monster. You don’t trade a superstar – especially one who along with Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Davis may have the most betting line impact of any player – especially after saying you wouldn’t. Just two weeks ago, Kings General Manager Vlade Divac told ESPN: “We’re not trading DeMarcus – we hope he’s here for a long time.”

Now Kellyanne, I mean Vlade, may have had the rug pulled out by his boss but the Kings are going to be unwatchable and impossible to bet on or against because the oddsmaker is going to heavily inflate their numbers.

Want to fade the Kings? Fine lay an extra 2-3 points. Want to back the Kings? Fine, wait until post to see if Evans is going to play and then enjoy pulling for Ty Lawson, Garrett Temple, Matt Barnes, Kosta Koufofs and their other stiffs to see if they can lose by 18 rather than 20 points.

OK, so what’s my solution? Kick out the Kings. And to keep things even among the two conferences boot out the Nets, too. Seriously, would anyone miss either of these two teams? Can you even name one Brooklyn player besides Brook Lopez?

The NBA has too many teams and plays too many games. This would help alleviate that. The Kings giving away Cousins and renewing tanking is the impetus.


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