DeMarcus Cousins was traded from Sacramento to New Orleans during All-Star Weekend, and the general consensus is that the Pelicans got a steal.
NBA-TV analyst Stu Jackson, however, believes the deal was more equitable than perhaps meets the eye.
“The Sacramento Kings, by their actions, have told us what they feel about DeMarcus Cousins,” Jackson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “They were in a position where they didn’t want to face the prospect of having to pay him $209 million over five years because they didn’t feel he was the franchise-type player to move their team and their origination forward.”
Cousins, who averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per game for Sacramento, was traded for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and 2017 first- and second-round picks.
“For the Pelicans,” Jackson said, “I think they saw an opportunity to perhaps vault themselves – if not into the playoffs this year – into a position where going forward they were a formidable team in the Western Conference having both Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis without giving up a player on their end that would alter the direction of the franchise. The fact that they made this deal without including Jrue Holiday, to me, was a win for them, albeit that they lost probably their first- and second-round picks this year.
“But I think for both sides it made sense,” Jackson continued. “I don’t view it as something that is quite as lopsided as everyone is saying because the Kings made this deal for different reasons.”
The Kings (24-33) and Pelicans (23-34) trail the Nuggets (25-31) by 1.5 and 2.5 games, respectively, for the final playoff spot in the West.