July 5, 2022

A King’s mistake

This archived article was written by: Tai Justice

I was watching the all-star game as rumors started to leak out that the Kings were once again interested in trading Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins. I basically rolled my eyes and laughed because they’ve been doing this exact same dance for years upon years and nothing has ever happened.
Cousins has always remained a King and the Kings have always remained bad. The game ended and I was on Twitter because I wanted to see the trade go down, then it finally happened.
Cousins was traded for Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, a first-round pick and Tyreke Evans. I almost passed out when I saw the actual details of the trade. They finally traded him? For that? What? Was I dreaming? It wasn’t even the fact that they traded him because I can see the logic in why they would want to move him.
He’s not a great teammate, he’s bad in the locker-room and this summer they would’ve had to let him go for nothing or they would have had to made him the richest player in NBA history.
But the stuff they got back in return is an absolute joke. There’s absolutely no defending that. The Kings owner can think Hield is the next Steph Curry all he wants, but I’ve got news for him; he’s not. Then their GM comes out the day after and says, “We had a better trade on the table a few days ago.” That brings me to a few questions: 1. Why didn’t they take that offer? And 2. Why are they even saying that?
Let me just take an overall look at this trade and explain how indefensibly awful it is. You see, the awfulness of this trade goes back further than just this trade. In summer 2015, the Kings decided to clear cap space and trade Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson, their 2018 first-round picks, and the right to swap firsts in both 2016 and 2017 to the Philadelphia 76ers for NOTHING.
The two players the Kings got in that trade never played a second for them. They just waived them so they would have cap space to sign Rajon Rondo, Kosta Kufus and Marco Bellini. They signed these bad players because they are stupid enough to think that they could help them win and wanted half decent players around Cousins for once in his career. They wanted to compete for a low-playoff seed and get a few home playoff games. Then when they’re on the cusp of doing that, they trade him for pennies on the dollar. Every single step since they drafted Cousins has been wrong.
Plus, it’s not even like they can go full tank now and get a high-draft pick because if they do that, the pick swap kicks in and it goes to the 76ers. And then it’s not like they can go on a winning streak either because if they finish 12th or higher, the pick goes to the Bulls and they have to keep that pick. Basically they traded him for two players that they are more than likely going to waive in Evan and Galloway, a rookie that, in my opinion, will be a nice bench player and two middling lottery picks. That’s what they traded one of the most dominant big man since Shaq for.
They could’ve just traded him last season, or the season before that and they would have got a lot more assets. But instead they drag this out way too long, totally diminished his value and got a terrible package for him.
Every step they’ve made prior to this move has been looking in the opposite direction. They’ve sacrificed their future to build around him and then just blew that plan up to do this. Also, not waiting until Thursday to do the trade is another indefensible part of this. There’s no way that that trade still isn’t on the table on Thursday.
Plus if you wait, it gives you more time to talk to teams and get a better offer. If you just go down the list of teams, just about every one of them could have topped the Pelicans offer that they accepted. From a Jazz perspective, Alec Burks and two firsts is better than that offer.
Accepting that offer was a joke. The Kings are bad and they’re going to stay bad for a while. Poor Sacramento.

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