*As of this posting, we don’t have a lot of info, but the Sacramento Kings have decided to part company with troubled superstar center DeMarcus Cousins, according to reports from the Sacramento Bee and USA Today.
Even though reports of the Kings and New Orleans Pelicans considering the trade were all over the internet prior to the NBA All-Star game, it appears the teams didn’t pull their respective triggers until late Sunday evening.
In the deal, the Pelicans picked up Cousins and Omri Casspi from the Kings for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and a first and second round pick in 2017, according to a person familiar with the trade.
The USA Today report references the trade as a “culture move for the Kings, afraid of investing too much into Cousins.” With Hield and the picks, they’re now planning to build from the draft.
Cousins spoke with reporters after the All-Star Game, in which he played just two minutes, as trade rumors swirled.
He said he was happy with the Kings, but would also be happy playing closer to home (Mobile, AL) and alongside Davis.
“If I’m blessed enough to have a job here, absolutely,” Cousins said. “If that’s what happens.”
Cousins is averaging a career-high 27.8 points this season (on 45.2% shooting) to go along with 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 blocks. He’s also making a career-high 1.7 three-pointers per game (on 35.6% shooting).
Hield is averaging 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in his first NBA season. He was picked sixth in this year’s draft by the Pelicans and has played 20.4 minutes a night for the Pelicans and started 37 of the team’s 57 games.
Evans, who was drafted by the Kings with the fourth overall pick in 2009 and spent the first four seasons of his career in Sacramento, is averaging a career-low 9.5 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds this season while recovering from multiple knee surgeries.