DeMarcus Cousins traded to New Orleans; sets up possible Pelicans-Warriors first-round playoff matchup; Divac, Kings taking lots of heat; Alvin Gentry needs to get it done


What a fascinating day for the NBA and Sacramento Kings. In a blockbuster trade, the Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and a first and second-round pick.

We talked in-depth about the Cousins’ trade and what it means for each franchise with a few experts. First, we talked with Golden State Warriors’ television analyst Jim Barnett, then Sacramento Kings beat writer for the Sacramento Bee, Jason Jones, and, finally, Jennifer Hale, the Pelicans’ sideline reporter. Here are those links:

Link to interview with Jim Barnett.

Link to interview with Jason Jones

Link to interview with Jennifer Hale.

Among the topics that were discussed:

–Barnett believes the Pelicans now boast the two most talented big men in the league in Cousins and Anthony Davis. He also made a few parallels with teams of the past that acquired centers and then their fortunes turning around. Barnett believes there are similarities to the Kings trading Cousins to the Pelicans and Charlotte trading Alonzo Mourning to Miami.

–What does the acquisition of Cousins mean for a potential first-round matchup against the Warriors? Well, there’s absolutely no doubt about it, the Pelicans’ strength — size — is the Warriors’ weakness. But not just any size, mind you, talented size. Nobody is saying the Warriors are going to be an underdog if these teams meet in the first round, but it’s going to be a lot more interesting than it might have been.

–The perception is that the Kings got raked over the coals in this trade. General manager Vlade Divac said he had a better offer a couple of days ago but the deal fell through … something about “agents.” It’s difficult to defend this trade if you’re Sacramento. Cousins is perhaps the best big man in the league and Hield is an unknown and other two players are role players. Yikes.

–Jason Jones talked about how shocked Cousins was when he found out he was being traded. Jones has some solid insight into what’s been going on with Cousins the past day or so, and it’s clear Cousins wasn’t expecting this. Jones also talks about another aspect of this whole thing — how Cousins seems to be getting kicked to the curb by his old squad.

–OK, the Pelicans are not a playoff team right now. They’re 2 1/2 games behind the Denver Nuggets. Still, let’s be honest. This team should be able to make that up — for goodness sakes they have Cousins and Davis. If Jrue Holiday stays healthy, and the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs, you gotta believe Alvin Gentry may not be around next season.

–And by the way, what are the Kings thinking? Where are they going? It’s hard to tell. The question now becomes for Kings whether anyone else is going to be sent packing — a Darren Collison, a Ben McLemore, maybe a Kosta Koufos?



About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for the Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz can be heard on "Steiny & Guru" on 95.7-FM The Game in San Francisco, from 12-3.
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