by Charlie O. Mallonee
SACRAMENTO–The DeMarcus Cousins era in Sacramento has apparently come to an end. Multiple reports have Cousins going to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for shooting guard Buddy – “the Nutcracker”- Hield, guard (and former King) Tyreke Evans, shooting guard Langston Galloway plus a future first-round and second-round draft pick.
“The Woj” of The Vertical was the first to send the rumors of the possible trade up the wires earlier on Sunday. Most of the reaction to the rumor was negative based on Vlade Divac’s statements to ESPN last week on the Kings intentions to sign Cousins to a long-term extension and the fact that Sacramento is still in contention for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
As the day progressed and the All-Star Game got underway, the rumors of a Cousins trade continued to heat up. Where it had just been New Orleans as a possible destination, there then became rumors that other teams were vying for Cousins. As time passed, the story began “to grow legs”.
Adding fuel to the fire was the limited amount of playing time that Cousins saw in the All-Star Game. Cousins played just two minutes and scored three points.
It would appear that the Kings have moved into a rebuilding mode. If they hold unto the number 10 or better lottery draft pick, the Kings will retain that selection rather than having to send that pick to the Chicago Bulls. The upcoming draft has been deemed one of the most star-studded in years. The trade would indicate that the Kings want to participate in the draft process.
Do not forget that Sacramento hedged their bets by sending Marquese Chriss to Phoenix for the rights to shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic who is currently playing in Turkey. He is seen as a potential impact player in the NBA.
This certainly marks a major change in philosophy for the Kings. Up until now, it has been “all Boogie – all the time”. Now, it’s a clean slate. What kind of team do the Kings want to build? Vivek Ranadive was a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors and loves their style of play. Who doesn’t love the Warriors style?
All change is crisis. So, the Kings are in the middle of another major crisis. They have to justify to their long-suffering fans why they did an about-face and dropped out of the playoff race while jettisoning their only legitimate All-Star player.
I would not want to be an account representative having to call season ticket holders for renewal orders on Monday. When those current season ticket holders ask what are the Kings plans for the future, the answer at this point is probably an honest … I’m not sure.
There is one constant that has not changed. The Sacramento Kings are never boring. They are never easy to understand, but they are never, never boring.