Notes, Reactions, Details On DeMarcus Cousins Deal

The designated veteran extension in the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement was intended to make it easier for teams to keep their superstar players, but as Nate Duncan tweets, the Kings‘ decision to trade DeMarcus Cousins exposes an unintended consequence of the new super-max deal. If a team is unsure about whether or not it wants to make that massive commitment to its star player – and feels it “has to” make that commitment if it keeps him – it could lead to a trade, as it did with the Kings and Cousins.

For most of this season, the Kings seemed prepared to offer Cousins that massive designated veteran extension this summer, but owner Vivek Ranadive began to have doubts in recent weeks, per Chris Mannix of The Vertical. According to both Mannix and Sam Amick of USA Today, Cousins’ recent one-game suspension, along with the Kings’ win over Boston in the game he missed, played a part in the team’s decision to move him.

According to Mannix, that win over the Celtics without their star center in the lineup had some members of the Kings’ organization “dreaming of what a free-flowing, post-Cousins offense could look like.” Now the team will get a chance to see what its offense looks like without Cousins on a full-time basis.

Here’s more on the NBA’s latest blockbuster deal:

  • One executive tells Mannix that his team would have taken Cousins only if the Kings were “giving him away.” A GM who spoke to Jeff Goodman of was even more bearish on Cousins, suggesting that “New Orleans was desperate” and “Sacramento is free” of the mercurial big man. Still, as Goodman notes, multiple league executives were still surprised at how little the Kings got for their star center.
  • Given the underwhelming nature of the trade package the Kings received, Kristian Winfield of wonders where the other offers for Cousins were. According to Mannix, a handful of teams, including the Magic and Celtics, expressed “nominal interest” in Cousins, though Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald tweets that Boston wasn’t one of the clubs actively engaged with Sacramento on Sunday.
  • Brian Windhorst of answers a few key questions about the Cousins blockbuster, noting that the 26-year-old is now eligible for approximately $30MM on a maximum salary extension. Based on the NBA’s latest cap projections for 2018/19, a designated veteran extension for Cousins with the Kings would’ve been worth about $209MM, while a five-year max contract with the Pelicans will be worth approximately $179MM.
  • Elsewhere at (Insider link), Kevin Pelton assigns the Pelicans a grade of A-minus for the deal, while the Kings get a D.
  • The Cousins deal has a significant impact on the Sixers, Derek Bodner writes at In addition to holding swap rights on the Kings‘ 2017 first-round pick and holding the Kings’ 2019 first-rounder outright, the Sixers also now have one fewer suitor for Jahlil Okafor. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported late last night (via Twitter) that the Pelicans offered Tyreke Evans, their 2017 first-round pick, and another draft pick for Okafor earlier this month, though Ramona Shelburne of ESPN notes (via Twitter) that New Orleans asked for top-20 protection on the 2017 pick.
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24 thoughts on “Notes, Reactions, Details On DeMarcus Cousins Deal

  1. Hen1CHC

    WTF. They could’ve gotten more from other teams…plus they lied to him

    This is huge, koudos to the Pelicans tho god damn

  2. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    the Pelicans a grade of A-minus for the deal, while the Kings get a D

    If the trade works out for the Pelicans…..they will get an A+
    The Kings still might have gotten value in the deal because they got rid of the attitude in their locker room
    If Rudy Gay comes back and the Kings re-tool properly, maybe they get better. Only time will tell.

    • Rudy Gay isn’t going to make the Kings better. Every time he’s been traded away, his old team does better.

    • BigAlice

      Time will tell… but only as to whether this is a D or an F for the Kings.

      They just gave away one of the three best centers in the world when they had ALL the leverage to re-sign him this offseason.

      • Re-signing him was never going to be an issue. Cousins could’ve been the highest paid player in NBA history if he stayed with Sacramento, so I don’t think he would’ve hesistated to resign if Sacramento gave him a max offer. I think part of the thinking was that Sacramento didn’t want to give Cousins that contract and be stuck with his antics/attitude for at least another two seasons (since they can’t trade him for a year after signing his extension). Once you get past that trade window, then Sacramento has to find a trade partner that can take his huge contract meaning finding a team with loads of cap space, taking back some bad contracts, or acquiring some pending FAs/unguaranteed contracts.

    • Miklo916

      The didn’t lose. But I think they could of got better package. My kings was losing with cousins not like we going to champions with him. It Ike for change. Yeah I mad but I’m not.

  3. Nigel

    How weird three days before the traded deadline a blockbuster trade happened that’s nobody else saw coming. Demarcus cousins is finally out of sac town for good. And prop to Dell dumps for agreeing to this trade. Anthony Davis and Demarcus cousins with be a great big man combination.

  4. david

    The Lakers could not pull this off? Why? Who is some worth protecting? It’s gonna be quite a race to see who tanks the best. Why would anyone go pay to see these teams? NBA has a credibility problem.

    • GuruGray

      The report was that the Lakers didn’t want to involve Brandon Ingram. Shows how little they think of Boogie

      • Formerlyz

        I wouldn’t have made that deal if I’m the lakers. Cousins doesn’t really fit their age group. I don’t think it would make sense for the Lakers to give up those assets. Plus, you essentially would have to resign him. And then you might not be there for guys in the next couple of years, assuming they don’t resign with their teams and take the money. Don’t know how their roster would really look.

    • Formerlyz

      I remember them being super high on him before the draft. They probably haven’t paid mucheck attention to him since. He has pressed all season, and could bust. I believe in his motor though, so he can still turn things around. He hasn’t been pressing as much lately. For their sake, hopefully he figures it out

  5. old_cheapy_fred

    Many teams could have matched this package objectively (although value is in the eyes of the beholder with younger players). However, the Lakers couldn’t offer a 1st round pick until 2021 at the earliest. So, they couldn’t match it, if getting a 1st year former lottery player and a lottery pick in this coming draft were important considerations.

    Plus, if the Lakers don’t get a top 3 pick this year, then they lose both it and their 1st in 2019 unprotected. Maybe they’d prefer to stay right where they are in the standings.

  6. DannyQ3913

    NBA forced the Colangelos on our Sixers and this is what we get…….

  7. BoSoxs4life

    I am glad the Celtics didn’t get him, he is a cancer in the clubhouse call

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