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The Kings had plenty of reasons to trade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, starting with the five-year, $209 million extension he would have commanded in the upcoming offseason. But essentially swapping Cousins for Buddy Hield and two draft choices? Deep breaths are mandatory here.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday. Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore also could be dealt as general manager Vlade Divac reshapes the team. On Monday, veteran forward Matt Barnes was waived.
After learning Monday morning the Kings had traded their three-time All-Star to New Orleans for an unproven, high draft pick in rookie Buddy Hield, two players who won’t be here next season and two 2017 draft picks, Kings fans wondered if this was the deal they had dreamed about or a nightmare.
Why, Vlade? “We want to move forward,” the Kings’ GM said Monday, two weeks after publicly saying he wouldn’t trade DeMarcus Cousins.
When one of the NBA’s most polarizing players gets traded, it’s the sportswriter equivalent of Steph Curry unguarded at the 3-point line. You don’t pass up the chance to take a shot.
Of the players Sacramento received, Buddy Hield is the centerpiece. The 23-year-old shooting guard from the Bahamas was drafted sixth overall as a senior out of Oklahoma, and the Kings were said to have coveted him then.