When Vlade is the GM This is What Happens: Cousins Traded For Spare Parts

Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadive, the two people who are in charge of the Sacramento Kings and have kept the Kings in the gutter by their lack of planning, strategy or consistency, have continued their malfeaseance. DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Caspi are out. Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans and two draft picks are in.

The trading deadline is Thursday February 23rd, midnight eastern time, 9:00 p.m. California time. A trade doesn’t have to be completed by then, it just has to have the paperwork started. The bumbling Kings ownership didn’t even wait until Thursday. The NBA is back to business tomorrow. The Cousins trade paperwork will be pored through then.

These are the Kings pieces, what Cousins was good for. Tyreke Evans who the Kings initially drafted and who was Rookie of the Year. Evans has never developed as a combo guard. He can drive and attack but has no jump shot to speak of. He has had knee injuries that have compromised his quickness. He is shooting 30% from three and 40% overall. His offensive game is in the toilet but he is a quality defender, probably the best on the Kings.

Buddy Hield. A rookie who thinks he is Kobe Bryant-lite but is shooting 39% and 36% from three. Hield is a black hole who doesn’t move the ball and his rebounding is nothing special. Basically, he is a one dimensional three point shooter and not a great one at that. His athleticism is average. But he still is a rookie so his development is a question mark.

Langston Galloway. A nothing special bench scorer. Galloway was in the D-league and garnered some fame playing for the Knicks last season. This year he is a 37% shooter and makes 37% of his threes. He is not a rebounder or a ball mover. 8.6 points.

The Kings are on the clock. They don’t have to explain themselves because we know who they are, incapable of rationality. They are dysfunctional and in a free market economy they just gave away  a Mercedes for a bicycle. They didn’t want to pay Cousins the $200 million he was due as specified in the new and improved Collective Bargaining Agreement. A max player not on his rookie contract, if on the team that drafted him, and if he has less than 10 years in the league, is eligible for a sweetheart deal. (Steph Cury will get the same deal on July 1). A little known fine print is that after signing the deal trades are halted for a year. So the Kings had to make a decision. They did. It just was the wrong one. Not trading Cousins. But trading him and getting nothing. They would have done better trying to pry some of the young talent off the Lakers. With this deal they have no young talent and a bunch of around the block players. It is as if they don’t know that Hall of Fame talent is hard to come by. You can’t win with average to above average players.

Under the category that history repeats itself, Sacramento has always done this. Ever since the Chris Webber era ended, they have been falling down and have not gotten up. It makes sense that they would jam themselves on their own sword the very weekend when their last great player, Chris Webber, was announced as a finalist for the Hall of Fame. Since Webber, the Kings have been organizationally clueless, dysfunctional, the blind leading the blind and laughable to the point of incompetent.

Around Cousins there was B and C level talent and still the Kings were surprised at the outcome of not winning games. They hired George Karl then fired him and then didn’t fire him and then waited to fire him and then didn’t fire him and finally fired him. Their owner believes you can build a team like the high school girls basketball team he coached. The inmates are not running the asylum. Even they could do a better job than this.

Cousins agent was reassured DeMarcus was staying. Then a couple of hours later the news broke that the Pels traded Buddy Hield and a first round pick for Cousins. It would be funny if the Kings weren’t a disaster.

But let’s look at the bright side of things. How have the Kings drafted in the last five years, since 2012? Can they get a decent first rounder?

First, the Pelicans may make the playoffs so that pick will be a lower level pick. But this is the Kings history in the top 10 of the draft the past five years.

  • 2012: Thomas Robinson (#5). Traded to Houston. Traded to Blazers. Traded to 76ers. Signed with the Nets. Signed with the Lakers. 4.7 points. 4.8 rebounds.
  • 2013: Ben McLemore (#7). 9.2 points. 2.5 rebounds. 1.2 assists.
  • 2014: Nik Stauskas (#8). Traded to Philly. 7.1 points. 2.1 rebounds. 2.2 assists.
  • 2015: Willie Cauley-Stein (#6). 6.5 points. 4.2 rebounds.
  • 2016: Marquese Chriss (#8) traded to the Suns.

So here you have an organization that doesn’t have aptitude in scouting young talent, doesn’t have the ability to maintain coaches, doesn’t want to keep a Hall of Fame big man: it is the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

All there is for Kings fans to hope for is 5 wins the next two months and Lonzo Ball to be their savior. After DeMarcus Cousins was supposed to be the savior.

The Kings front office is hopeless.


photo via llananba