Boogie Is Free

It was so precedented.

It was so unprecedented.

The Kings, after two years of rumors, finally traded DeMarcus Cousins.  It happened.  We were stunned, but we weren’t.

We were stunned because the team that acquired him came out of nowhere.  We were stunned about the return that the Kings got, and the complete 180 from the past week’s reporting, which had the Kings and Cousins restating their desire to stay together and for Cousins to sign an extension this Summer.

We weren’t stunned because the Boogie trade rumors hadn’t gone away since the Lakers came close to getting him during the 2015 Draft.  Boston and Phoenix had emerged earlier in the season as possible candidates.  We weren’t stunned because the Kings relationship with Cousins has been extremely rough.  We weren’t stunned because the Kings are the worst-ran franchise in the league, and consistently make terrible move after terrible move.

I have been in Boogie’s corner for as long as I can remember.  He’s one of my three favorite players in the league.  I’ve advocated to get him out of Sacramento ever since I launched this site.  But I never would have thought the New Orleans Pelicans would be his new team, and I never would have thought the Kings would sell him so low.

Pelicans get: DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi

Kings get: Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, 2017 1st rounder, 2017 2nd rounder

The timeline of Sunday’s trade was so insanely fast.  Reports that morning suggested that Sacramento had held discussions with New Orleans and Orlando.  There were also reports that New Orleans had inquired about Paul George.

My first reaction to the Pelicans rumors was: “Where are the assets needed to make a trade like that happen?”  It makes sense why the George trade never got momentum.  Indiana is smartly ran.  New Orleans’ offer for George had to be so incredibly underwhelming, simply due to the fact that New Orleans does not have assets to make that trade.  The Pelicans then engaged on Boogie, because his value is (admittingly) lower than George’s, and New Orleans knew they could trick the Kings into making a bad deal.  They did.

The Pelicans literally got one of the ten best players in the league for a rookie flameout who is taking on the “Only good in college” mantra in Buddy Hield, a washed up shooting guard in Tyreke Evans, an interesting future piece in Langston Galloway, and a 1st and 2nd rounder.  So basically Galloway and a 1st round pick.

Hield was awesome at Oklahoma, which led to me wanting the Suns to take him in the Draft, but is struggling to adjust to the NBA and seems destined to be a 2nd Tyreke Evans: An overconfident shooting guard who takes bad shots and thinks they’re the best ever.  The Kings see Hield as the star of the return.  Yikes.

I’m not a fan of Evans whatsoever, but I do feel bad for the guy.  He’s having to go back to the Kings, who are more irrelevant than they were when he was there.

For New Orleans, getting rid of Evans is huge.  He was part of the problem in the Big Easy.  He was too injured and too possessive of the ball.  It just never came together there for him.

Galloway is the first of two pieces of actual value the Kings got for Boogie.  Sacramento needs a point guard.  I don’t think Galloway is the future for them, but he’s a very nice player who can start (He’s an upgrade over Darren Collison) and then transition to a 6th man role once they find their guy.

The first round pick isn’t very attractive either.  I don’t follow college hoops like I do the NBA, but this draft is stacked.  There’s like 13-15 solid dudes in this draft.  New Orleans could very well sneak into the playoffs, putting them 16th or 17th in the draft order.  If the chemistry takes awhile to develop, the pick lands in the early teens.  Its fine, but the Pelicans’ first rounder which will land in the teens and Langston Galloway should not be the two most valuable assets in a trade for DeMarcus Cousins.

Its a new low for the Kings, somehow.  They sold Boogie for 40 cents on the dollar when he’s one of the ten best players in the league.  They hoarded him for almost two years in an attempt to sky-rocket his value and faltered.  They failed to put a good team around him.  They failed to find him a long-term point guard.  They failed to give him a good coach.  They failed to give him a stable front office.  And you all wonder why Boogie has character issues?

With most poorly ran organizations/franchise, it starts at the top.  Vivek Ranadive has completely mismanaged the Kings ever since he bought them.  Its been a complete and utter failure in every way basketball wise.  This trade only advanced that.

The forth-coming Boogie trade should have made the Kings better, or at least better equipped for the future.  Instead, they got a rookie bust, a washed up Tyreke Evans, a sixth man, and a pick that may or may not be valuable.  And don’t think the Kings didn’t know what they were doing.  Vlade Divac told the media he had a better offer from another team.  But no, I guess Buddy Hield is the next Stephen Curry.  Did they decide that after watching Hield drop 28 points in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night?

Its totally insane.  And its even getting sad.  Boogie just wasted so much of his career playing for a crappy team.  Kings fans are watching the front office throw away seasons at a time.  The team is now unwatchable, and when you’re in a new arena, thats not good.

I’ve been saying it for years, but I now I think its plainly obvious.  Can we start a movement to get me to be the new Kings GM?  I’m smarter than anyone in that organization; I can guarantee that.

As for the Pelicans, this is an unbelievable trade.  It takes them from being the team that literally needed to trade everyone  (Trading AD was a conversation a month ago) to a possible title contender next year.

The remainder of the season should be taken with a grain of salt.  I’ll talk about it more later, but there’s going to be some chemistry things they’re gonna have to work out, and the Pelicans are currently out of the playoffs right now (Sacramento is ironically ahead of them, but in worse shape).  Still, if the Pelicans can sneak up the 8th seed, I’m not looking forward to playing them in the first round if I’m Golden State.  I’m in no way saying the Pelicans can beat the Warriors, but I don’t think a six game series is inconceivable.

The Pelicans now have two of the five best centers in the league, and thats in a really talented pool too.  And the sneaky part to it: Two stretch fives.

This is why I’m not super worried about the chemistry.  There’s no spacing issues here.  Both have an amazing amount of killer post moves and can knock down a three if needed.  One can occupy the post while one slides out on the perimeter.  Good luck to the undersized power forward guarding either one on the three-point line!

Defensively is where there could be some issues.  Both are excellent at rim protection and rebounding, but the positive on offense is a negative on defense.  Either Anthony Davis or Boogie is going to be guarding a much smaller, more athletic player who’s probably positioned on the perimeter.  He’s gonna be able to go right around Boogie or Davis, because while both are good athletes, they’re not agile enough to guard someone much smaller and faster.  These guys are rim protecters, not wing defenders.  Again, this is an awesome trade for the Pelicans, but if there is a little cause for concern, it lies here.

Overall, New Orleans is a thousand times better talent-wise and is better suited for the future.  This is a good team!  It helps having two of the twelve best players in the league, but there’s solid talent here.  Jrue Holiday has been awesome this year, and seems destined to re-sign (assuming the remainder of this season isn’t a total disaster and/or Chris Paul doesn’t decide to land a SI cover that reads “I’M COMING HOME”).  Speaking of Holiday and how good this team is…  Envision the double screens that are coming with Holiday/Boogie/Davis.  I mean, thats devastating.

The wing is a little bit of the question mark for New Orleans with E’Twaun Moore and Solomon Hill, but the new trio is formidable enough to overcome that.  And hey, Moore is fine.

The Pelicans are a free agent signing away from being really, really good.  The wing needs an upgrade, and if they find it, this team is good enough to contend with the big boys next season.  Anthony Davis and Boogie are only three years apart in age.  Boogie is a sneaky 26, and AD is a crazy 23…  That just seems way too young considering how long he’s been in the league.  These guys are just hitting their primes, and once the chemistry works itself out, they’re gonna be on pace for greatness.

I have no doubt that this is the best frontcourt in the league.  I mean, its on pace to be one of the best of all-time.  Cleveland and Golden State aren’t as talented down low.  The Clippers are, but lack versatility and are built completely differently.  Same with the Grizzlies.  The pairing of two stretch fives is something we’ve never seen before, and is a massive mismatch for anyone.  Add that to the double screens and Jrue Holiday carving dudes up, and the Pelicans are ready to fly.