The DeMarcus Cousins trade sent ripple effects across the NBA, and those ripples reached all the way out to Philadelphia.
The 76ers might have won the trade deadline without even having to pull off a Jahlil Okafor trade. News broke Sunday night that the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, along with a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick. Much like most things related to the Kings, the trade is a complete disaster. They didn't get any future draft picks, the 2017 Pelicans' pick is surely going to be in the 1216 range and on top of that, Sacramento is already considering cutting both Evans and Galloway off of the roster. So Basically the Kings traded a top 12 player for short-term garbage, but what was that one saying? "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? The 76ers, who had nothing to do with this trade benefit more than the actual team, the Kings, who unloaded a star player, and partly because ... you guessed it ... the Kings had a hand in their own demise from the start.
You might remember another trade the 76ers pulled off on the unsuspecting (or maybe even suspecting at this point) Kings in the summer of 2015 that went a little something like this:
This trade ranks right up there with the Boston Celtics/Brooklyn Nets trade in 2012 — and Sunday night's trade too, come to think of it — as one of the worst trades of this decade (which was of course good for Sixer fans!). Not only did former Sixer general manager Sam Hinkie pull down the pants of Kings general manager Vlade Divac — at the time he just got hired as a GM with no prior experience and thus no knowledge of the Stretch Provision, which he could've used on Carl Landry or Jason Thompson's contract if he had just simply cut them — ?he also gave Divac a wedgie and took the Kings future unprotected first-round pick in that lopsided deal, which is now set in stone as the 2019 pick in. Nik Stauskus, who was drafted No. 8 by the Kings in 2014 and who Kings' owner Vivek Ranadive called Steph Curry with Klay Thompson's size, was basically considered a throw in the deal to clear cap space, even though Stauskus is still on a cheap rookie deal.
Since the Kings failed to get any significant return for their future in the Boogie trade, the upside of the 76ers assets are now at a higher level in terms of value.
2017 pick swap
As you saw in the photo, the 76ers have the rights to swap lottery picks with Sacramento should the Kings end up with a higher draft pick this summer, and what was considered a dream at the start of the season now has become full reality. The Kings posted a -7.1 net rating — per Basketball Reference — when Cousins was off the court, and now that Cousins will no longer actually be on the court for Sacramento, the Kings might have one of the worst rosters in basketball, almost guaranteeing a nice trip to one of the top three spots in the draft lottery. The 76ers will be able to swap picks, increasing the team's odds of landing within the top three spots in the draft and giving them a good shot to get one of these elite college prospects, such as Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball or even Malik Monk if they land in the 3-5 range. The 2017 draft is being touted as one most talented in recent memory, making it one of the more important drafts for the 76ers as they build this team moving forward; the more they maximize their lottery odds in this draft, the better chance they have of drafting a talented prospect to pair as a No. 3 guy alongside the core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The unexpected increase in value on the pick swap makes the 2015 trade absolute thievery, but it's the next part of the that trade that will make Kings fans want to disappear forever.
The Kings 2019 first-round pick that will go to the 76ers
Trading away a high-caliber player like Boogie means that you are making the decision to hit the reset button and rebuild from scratch for the next 3-5 years. If a team decides to take that path, then they have to make sure they get a serious package in return for what they're giving up, say one or two future first-round picks, in addition to what they initially get ... they definitely do not want to start with a 40 percent Tyreke Evans or a 23-year-old rookie with a defined ceiling. The Kings also failed to replenish any future assets that were lost due to poor decision making in the past, and the front office decided to blow the entire operation to hell from a position of weakness rather than strength. Now the timeline for this rebuild will be even longer as the team watches their 2019 first-round pick go to the 76ers.
Sunday night's trade might have made the 2019 Kings' pick the most valuable asset across the league outside of the 2017 and 2018 Brooklyn draft picks owned by the Celtics. Given the Kings draft history (it's pretty ugly) and the unstable nature of the organization, the team will be in for a lot more losing during this elongated rebuild, making the 2019 first-rounder a likely a top three lottery pick and giving the 76ers a valuable blue chip asset to go along with a roster that is developing and improving. By the time they cash-in that chip, the Sixers will hopefully start competing in the playoffs.
I think the worst part of this deal if you look at it from the perspective of a Kings fan is how warped ownership has been in judging the talent of their players, mainly Ranadive and his propensity to be involved in basketball decisions when he should be staying far far away from anything basketball related. Since Sunday's news broke, it has now been well documented and reported that one of the main factors in the Kings going through with the Boogie trade is that Ranadive thought Buddy Hield had Steph Curry potential. Never mind the fact that this is bordering on insane; the entire situation also puts a serious amount of pressure on Hield, who is now labeled as the lynch-pin in this deal, when at the very most he is a 3 and D type of player.
By the way, this is the same Kings front office who made that infamous 2015 trade to unload Landry and Thompson's contracts just so they could give themselves enough room to sign Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Kosta Koufos before the 2015-16 season. ... I'm so sorry Kings fans, I really am.
With that said. In The Process I Trust.