On the “NBA This Week,” we welcomed Philadelphia 76ers play-by-play man Marc Zumoff and the Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps to the show. It was a busy week in the NBA, so there was a lot to talk about.
Among the topics discussed on the show:
–It wasn’t the most active of trading deadlines in the NBA, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a big deal made a few days before Thursday. The Sacramento Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi (since waived) to the New Orleans Pelicans for rookie Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, plus a first- and second-round pick.
After weeks of the Kings front office maintaining that Cousins was part of the team’s long-term future, general manager Vlade Divac went ahead and moved Cousins, seemingly in a rushed decision. Some believe the Kings decided to trade Cousins after their Feb. 8 game against the Boston Celtics, a game they won by 16 points. Cousins did not play in that game because he was serving a one-game suspension for reaching 16 technical fouls. The Kings played well that night without Cousins, and the story goes owner Vivek Ranadive and Divac decided to move their center at that time
–Zumoff got into all things Philadelphia, one of the most intriguing teams in the league, if for no other reason than their abundance of young talents and draft picks. The 76er also host the Golden State Warriors next week, which makes the discussion timely.
Zumoff said the 76ers had to trade one of their three centers — Joel Embid, Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel — and the logical choice might have been Noel, who did end up being traded to Dallas. Embid is (one of) the team’s franchise players so he wasn’t going anywhere. And the reality was that there wasn’t much of a market for Okafor. So, that left Noel as the one to be moved.
–Bontemps got into the situation in Boston, saying that general manager Danny Ainge is known for waiting out a possible trade until he absolutely knows he can win the transaction. Since Ainge didn’t feel that way, the Celtics sat tight. The nice thing about the Celtics’ situation is that they didn’t have to rush into a situation. They’ll still be sitting pretty come this offseason.
–There was lots of other discussion about the Warriors, Shaquille O’Neal vs. JaVale McGee, Divac and the Kings getting piled on, and where Paul George or Jimmy Butler might end up down the road.