In his introductory press conference today, new Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins told reporters that he still hasn’t spoken to anyone from the Kings since the trade sending him to New Orleans was made (Twitter link). According to Cousins, Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac attempted to call Cousins after the deal was finalized, but Cousins said “it’s done” (Twitter link via Justin Verrier of ESPN.com).
As Cousins explained to the media today, the hardest part about being traded was the “dishonesty” with which the Kings operated (Twitter link via Verrier). Sacramento had vowed multiple times, both publicly and privately, that Cousins wouldn’t be going anywhere this season, and it’s rare for a team to make that sort of promise to a player, then do an abrupt about-face.
Still, Cousins said today that he’s “all-in” on the Pelicans, though he wouldn’t yet comment on the possibility of signing an extension with the team (Twitter link via Ben Golliver of SI.com). Cousins is technically eligible to sign an extension now, though he could get more years and dollars beginning in July, when the new CBA goes into effect. Of course, by changing teams, he’ll miss out on an opportunity to sign a designated veteran extension with Sacramento, reducing his maximum possible earnings by about $30MM.
Cousins, who referred to himself and Anthony Davis as a “fire and ice” combination, said that he tried to sell the former No. 1 overall pick on Sacramento earlier this month when the Kings played the Pelicans (Twitter link via Golliver). Davis returned the favor, sending a text that said “I really want you to come to New Orleans” before the two teams agreed to a trade on Sunday night, Cousins confirmed today (Twitter link).