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Kings get fleeced in DeMarcus Cousins trade

The Sacramento Kings have not been good since the days of Chris Webber and Mike Bibby. They can now safely tack on another three of four more years to future ineptitude, after trading All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins for what amounts to a bag of balls and a stick of gum.

Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac sent Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night for the platter of Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first and second-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. New Orleans also gets back Omar Casspi, according to ESPN.

This is beyond stunning. It’s not that Cousins was traded, because that’s been rumored for some time, but for what it cost in return. If teams around the league knew this was the type of haul it would take, there should have been 29 clubs making offers. Most believed the Kings would need to be overwhelmed, taking in multiple first-round picks and perhaps a promising young player or two.

In this deal, Sacramento landed none of that. Galloway is a fringe player at best. At 25 years old, he’s now on his third team and is averaging 8.6 points per game this season. Evans, once a promising young talent on the Kings, has fallen off considerably. Evans is putting in 9.5 points per game and 16 points on average throughout his career, but he offers little value as a 27-year-old who seemingly has his best basketball behind him.

Hield is the only quasi lottery ticket in this deal, but it’s hard to see him turning into a star at any point. Last year’s national leading scorer for the Oklahoma Sooners in college, Hield has poured in 8.6 points per game, giving reason to believe he’ll never be much more than a rotational player.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans just got interesting. With Cousins and All-NBA forward Anthony Davis, they have one of the best front lines in the NBA. If New Orleans could somehow add a guard in a trade or, more likely, via free agency, we could see a contender emerge in the West over the next few seasons. If nothing else, the Pelicans just got a hell of a lot more interesting.

The Kings are left with nothing to hang their hat on. The roster is now completely faceless and destined to lose another 50-odd games this season with no hope to show for it. Sacramento continues to go down the drain into oblivion, something the franchise knows far too much about.

Cousins is a headache because of his antics, but he was still worth far more than the return Divac and ownership brought back for him. With Cousins removed from the picture, Sacramento now has to build from the ground up again, trying to figure out how to reach the postseason for the first time since 2006.

It might take awhile.

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