(Photo via SBNation.com)
Shortly after the completion of the 2017 NBA All-Star game news leaked that the first blockbuster trade of the season was completed.
— The Vertical (@TheVertical) February 20, 2017
The Sacramento Kings finally pulled the trigger on trading their 3 time All-Star center, DeMarcus Cousins, but what they got in return from the New Orleans Pelicans seems to be a little light considering his level of talent.
The New Orleans Pelicans send to the Kings Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and their 2017 1st round pick which is reported to be top 3 protected.
The package that it took to acquire Cousins is surprising:
The Pelicans selected Hield with their 6th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft who has shown flashes this season, but still not enough to consider him developing into a sure bet star. Hield has averages of 8.6 points (6th amoung rookies) and 20.4 minutes (11th), while shooting 39.2 from the field and 36.9 from 3.
The 2017 1st round pick of the Pelicans will likely end up in the mid to high teens which has value with the upcoming draft being projected by many as one of the deepest in years.
Considering it took just a moderate level prospect and a future draft pick that’ll be in the teens, for those Lakers’ fans, you automatically think why were the Lakers not able to beat out the Pelicans for Cousins.
It seems the Lakers were at the very least interested.
The Kings told the Lakers that without Ingram, they weren't interested. Sources said talks didn't get much farther than that
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 20, 2017
No further details about what the Lakers were offering the Kings in trade were reported as of yet but it appears clear that there was only one untouchable and that was Brandon Ingram.
You can also make the connection that the Kings were not interested in any of the other Lakers’ prospects outside of Ingram and saw Hield as the better prospect than that of the likes of Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac which is surprising.
Could the Lakers have acquired Cousins for a package that did not include Ingram if it were say two of their prospects, such as Randle and Russell? It is possible that the Lakers did make such an offer and it was rejected by the Kings?
It seems on the surface that Cousins was there for the taking for the Lakers and surely could have put together a better package than that of the Pelicans, even without including Ingram and that this is another missed opportunity to acquire a star player.
However, a very troubling thought comes up out of this: if the Lakers did offer a few of their young prospects in a trade package and the Kings were not interested then it speaks to what the league thinks about the quality and upside of the Lakers’ youth which is a much higher than what many fans of the team and those that cover them locally.
As the reporters continue to dig more news is likely to come out as to what the Lakers offered and it will shed more light as to how they once again missed out on nabbing that elusive star the franchise desperately covets.