Welcome to the fifth installment of Ballers Don’t Lie here at Place to Be Nation! This week, our hoops panel explores the NBA Trade Deadline in all its transactional glory!
These conversations took place in the days leading up to the deadline and its aftermath.
I’ll first talk about the Sacramento Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins for about five cents on the dollar. I’m guessing no one else wanted to give up anything for Cousins, but man, that is a sad haul and begs the question, why even deal him in the first place if that is what you get in return?
The only way it helps the Kings at all is by making them worse, improving their odds at the No. 1 pick of the draft. I don’t think the Celtics trade any of their Brooklyn picks at the deadline, but I do think they’ll pick up a role player, likely a rebounding specialist.
I also do not see many big names going until the offseason. Maybe Brook Lopez gets traded before the deadline, but that’s about it as far as big names. People that would not shock me getting dealt are: Terrence Jones, Nikola Vucevic, Nikola Mirotic, Ricky Rubio, and Kenneth Faried.
J Arsenio D’Amato:
The Kings are getting murdered by the media and their fans, so here goes a lone attempt at defending the move. Cousins is an immense talent who fills the stat sheet without breaking a sweat, but he doesn’t make his teammates better and he has led Sacramento to zero playoff appearances. They can miss the playoffs without him and don’t have to worry about the constant technical fouls, yelling at coaches, and threatening reporters while hanging out with his mentor and role model Matt Barnes, a real upstanding citizen. They aren’t going anywhere with him and didn’t want to shell out the $200 million-or-whatever max contract for an extremely talented headache.
The NBA is in a bit of a critical state as 90 percent of the league has no chance to contend. What hope is there unless you’re a Cavs, Warriors, Spurs, or Celtics fan?
Always been that way though, right? When was it not?
In terms of the Cousins trade, it’s a win for the Pelicans and probably gets them to the 8th seed, where “Boogie” gets his first playoff experience by getting swept by the Warriors. I hope the Pelicans add some more depth in the backcourt next year if they expect to be a serious contender. I don’t see any further blockbuster deals occurring. Doesn’t look like Carmelo Anthony is going to be dealt at this point. Given how Phil Jackson frequently takes to social media to deride Carmelo, it cannot be helping his trade value anyway.
I also do not see the Celtics’ 2017 Brooklyn pick being moved until after the lottery. I don’t think a team wants to get the fourth pick if it happens to be that for Butler or George.
Any closing thoughts on the NBA trade scene, guys?
The Bulls really embarrassed themselves. They got nearly nothing back for Taj Gibson and [Josh] McRoberts. They have been the biggest hot-and-cold team I can remember. They rid of Rose and Noah in what looked like a rebuild opportunity in the offseason but then brought in Rondo and Wade. Basketball is better when the Bulls are a contender, but they are turning into a “Knicks-lite” team with dysfunction and in-house bickering.