Boogie Cousins to the Pelicans?! How is it that the Pelicans now have the best front court in all of the NBA in one trade?
I can tell you how. Because the Sacramento Kings just made a trade that will do nothing but cause them so much trouble and regret. How do you let a 3-time NBA All-Star who has only been in the league 6 years go to a team and in return you get the equivalent to a new rack of Spalding basketballs?
Vlade Divac will never be able to live this one down. Letting your franchise player go for an unproven rookie, a first and second round pick, and the same guy you traded to the Pelicans years before is a mystery.
Now, what does the Boogie trade truly mean for both teams? For the Pelicans, this means a resurgence into the top tier of the West instantly. Should they be able to make a spot in the playoffs now, they have a legit chance to make it out of the first round with both of these guys holding down the front court. Before the trade, I would have told you I didn’t even think that they had a shot to make it to the playoffs. This addition of “Boogie” Cousins is dramatic to any team because of the versatility and production that he has put out year after year in Sacramento. Many people only hear about his off the court issues and his attitude, but this guy is among the top 5 big men in the league year in and year out, I mean c’mon, the guy is averaging 27 PPG and 10 RPG THIS YEAR. Here is the scary part. Anthony Davis is now his teammate! Now 2 of the top 5 big men in the league are on the same team. Talk about versatile and impactful with the bigs. The New Orleans Pelicans just became the best team in all of the league when it comes to front court talent.
Now, let me solidify what I am saying here. By no means am I saying that the Pelicans now are competing for the Western Conference title or even an NBA title. All I am saying is that a team that many thought after the start to the year could be a potential worst team in the NBA has just made a trade that can catapult them into the top 8 of the Western Conference and compete in the 1st round of the playoffs. I do think that the Pelicans still have to try and find themselves a qualified guard that can score from the outside. The Pelicans have been using a couple guys that have barely proven themselves in the back court and showing their lack of depth there. If they are able to get a Mario Chalmers or someone like that, I do think that their stability and effectiveness will really sure them up to make a run for a solid spot among the Western Conference going into the playoff rounds.
What does Sacramento do from here? Well, it’s apparent that the Kings are going into “rebuild” mode. The best that they can do at this point is ensure that they get the most value for the guys that they are still looking to get rid of. They did get a 1st round pick for this year’s draft with the Boogie trade, but rumor has it that they are shopping Maclemore and a few other players. If this is the case, they need to ensure that they get the most value for the guys they are trading, rather than getting rid of someone to see what they can do next. It is clear that Divac and the front office of the Kings do not have much of a plan in place for the present, nor the future. If they were going into a rebuild phase, you would think they would do something similar to Boston a few years ago and stack up their picks and assets to ensure a multitude of possible trade and free agent activity.
All in all, I love what the Pelicans have been able to do in acquiring Boogie Cousins is a huge win before the deadline. They gave up a lot of question marks for a guy who has done nothing but produce. I am a believer that the off the court issues Cousins dealt with previously will change with his time in New Orleans. Once he understands the unique situation that he has with Davis and himself, he will be more focused on the end goal and not so much on the present and how to get the most for him. Guys in the NBA want to win, especially those who have been losing for so long. Boogie is no exception to this rule.