Shortly after another lifeless All-Star Game played out in front of a exhausted crowd, a Smoothie King Center’s media work area jolted watchful with word that Cousins, who had suspiciously logged usually dual minutes, competence be traded to a Pelicans.
While LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and other All-Stars fielded standard-issue post-game questions in a converted courtside VIP lounge, Cousins changed to a behind of a speak room with dozens of reporters in prohibited pursuit. Pressed to a behind wall, a three-time All-Star gave no transparent reason for his singular personification time and sounded irritated by a trade talk, rolling his eyes and throwing behind his conduct when pulpy about a rumors. “Man, give me a break,” he said. “I usually need one All-Star where it’s usually All-Star questions. This is my third one and it’s always something. … Whatever happens, happens. we haven’t listened from [Kings management].”
Rather than widen himself from a rumors — a judicious play if he believed them to be unsubstantiated — Cousins heaped courtesy on All-Star Weekend’s horde city and even certified that he could see himself being happy teaming adult with associate Kentucky alum Anthony Davis.
“I adore it here in New Orleans. I’ve been here a lot when we was a kid,” pronounced Cousins, who hails from Alabama. “I’m informed to a city. If I’m sanctified adequate to have a pursuit here, positively [I would suffer it].”
A few mins later, Davis seemed during a lectern for his speak as MVP of a West’s 192-182 feat over a East. Appearing jovial, Davis burst jokes with a unfamiliar contributor and self-deprecatingly quipped that 50 of his All-Star Game record 52 points came on dunks due to a East’s musing defense. Pressed about Cousins, Davis praised him as “an chosen player” though said, like Cousins, that he “hadn’t listened anything.”
Almost as shortly as those difference were out of his mouth, both Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com reported that Cousins was being dealt to New Orleans in sell for 2016 lottery collect Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a stable 2017 first-round collect and a 2017 second-round pick. Davis, a 2012 tip altogether pick, would finally have some legitimate help.
Remarkably, a reliable reports came opposite Twitter with Davis still logging about a press discussion seating area, heading reporters to proceed him to criticism on what now seemed to be news rather than gossip. Sensing a maturation situation, confidence shuttled Davis out of a media area and into a stable tunnel, as reporters and cameras tracked him down an extended corridor in hopes of grabbing a greeting to this career-altering development, though one never came.
A initial glance during Cousins’ post-trade greeting came from Andrew Rodgers, his longtime manager, who posted a design of a private jet to Twitter with a caption, “We don’t even know where to go.” That difficulty will shortly be followed by a financial ramifications of a move, that will revoke a limit distance of Cousins’ subsequent agreement by tens of millions of dollars.
It’s not startling that an classification in Sacramento’s position would confirm that it was time to partial ways with Cousins. But that a Kings would do it like this—without warning or courtesy for a All-Star Game, with Cousins thrown to a media massacre and underneath a enormous microscope, and after such a prolonged and stretched relationship—is irregular and plainly unprofessional. It’s not transparent either a Kings were perplexing to disparage Cousins or if they were simply stability a years-long settlement of amateurish management, though they couldn’t have sole out their authorization actor any harder if they had tried. Really, how could this have been worse? If owners Vivek Ranadive had announced a trade on a Facebook Live video mid by a third quarter?
Cousins is distant from blameless. He’s never come tighten to sniffing a playoffs, he leads a joining in technical fouls and arguments with officials, his mood swings are legendary, and he’s 26 now, distant too aged to still be stranded in his same aged juvenile ways. But no worker deserves to find out his predestine in such a back-handed and annoying manner, generally when reports indicated Sunday that his representative had perceived steady assurances that he would sojourn in Sacramento.
Less than 6 weeks ago, Cousins sat during his locker in Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center and mused during a probability of signing a five-year limit prolongation to sojourn in town. Sunday, he was on a wrong finish of Ranadive’s chronicle of “The Decision.” Instead of airing on ESPN from a primitive Boys Girls Club in Connecticut, a Kings dragged Cousins into a existence uncover setup that even E! executives would hold too tacky and demeaning.
The Kings’ uninspiring lapse package for Cousins, that lacked both a tip awaiting and a torpedo breeze asset, elicited mixed rounds of open delight from a remaining media members in New Orleans. But a chuckles were transposed in brief sequence by a second covering of disgust. It wasn’t usually that Sacramento, after years of weighing offers for Cousins and cycling by coaches and executives, had finally motionless to lift a block during a many ungainly impulse possible. It’s that a Kings did so and still usually managed to redeem pennies on a dollar for an All-NBA center.
Imagine being a Kings fan and tuning into TNT on Sunday night to see Cousins take his mark alongside a game’s best, usually to learn hours after that he was left for good. Now suppose perplexing to solitaire adult genuine fad for Hield, a 23-year-old who has done a singular impact as a rookie, as a face of Sacramento’s subsequent era.
For New Orleans, a trade opens a new epoch with Cousins and Davis as a fascinating large male duo. This isn’t a normal aged propagandize Twin Towers approach, as Cousins can widen out to a three-point line and Davis is gentle handling distant divided from a hoop. Both face questions per their defensive impact, and pairing a dual together could furnish stretches of mismatches opposite widespread lineups. But this is a play that a unsure tenure group, a beleaguered GM and a infirm Davis all badly needed. Cousins’ attainment should hint seductiveness in a group that’s been stranded for years, it should urge New Orleans’ representation to destiny giveaway agents (“We’ve already got dual stars”), and many importantly it gives Davis reason to trust that his drastic efforts aren’t in vain.
Although a Pelicans are no close to acquire a eighth seed given their diseased backcourt abyss and ubiquitous miss of talent, they have remade themselves from a joyless also-ran to must-see TV for NBA junkies. Over a subsequent few months, Cousins will get a possibility to infer that he can play winning basketball and act himself, Davis will get to be on a receiving finish of some big-to-big playmaking from his new teammate, and manager Alvin Gentry will finally have some talent to hint one of a league’s many unsatisfactory offenses.
The Kings now pierce brazen with a purify line-up and larger control of their possess destiny. Being tied to Cousins for a five-year prolongation was a terrifying prospect, and one they clearly dynamic to be unpalatable. True optimists competence pretty disagree that Sacramento will knowledge a post-trade strike from players who felt singular or put off by Cousins’ presence. But there’s usually no spinning a execution of this trade or a return. Sacramento will now span one of a leagues’ weakest fringe rotations with a mostly untested corps of large group prospects. There’s no revelation when this reconstruct will finish and there’s no reason to trust that a franchise’s decision-makers will make good use of their newly-acquired breeze assets.
Late during Cousins’ final night of Kings chaos, he lamented that his unsure attribute with a group had once again eclipsed his achievements on a court.
“It’s unsatisfactory that we had to go by another All-Star [Weekend] in some form of situations with a Kings instead of it being about my All-Star experience,” he admitted.
Good news, DeMarcus. An capricious destiny with a Pelicans awaits, though Sunday was a final time you’ll need to worry about a Kings interlude your shine.