Kings make right call trading Cousins no matter the return
February 21, 2017 3:03 AM
by Alan Berg
For everyone that is burying the Kings for trading DeMarcus Cousins, please stop.
Cousins is not a winner. Don’t agree? Let’s check the Kings’ win total numbers: 24, 22, 28, 28, 29, 33 and this year 24, the trend of losing. Plenty of NBA players these days are capable of some eye-popping stats, but when it comes down to it the great players make their teams better.
Take Russell Westbrook, who is averaging a triple double this season, the Thunder, who in my opinion have as much talent as the Kings, are eight games ahead of them in the standings even after OKC lost future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant to the Warriors.
Now, you may say that’s only eight games, but how did those eight extra wins come about? Because Westbrook is willing that team to victory, making the pieces around him the best they can be. Cousins, meanwhile, is a walking stat sheet but rarely does he elevate his team.
Cousins is too busy getting technicals, fighting with coaches and lashing out at the media for critiquing his antics.
Now, are the Kings a good franchise? Of course not. Hassan Whiteside was demoted to the D-League in his time in Sacramento; he’s now a star for the Miami Heat. Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics, one of the big stories of 2016-17, is arguably the best point guard in the East this year (29.9 PPG, 6.3 APG).
I am not forgiving the Kings for their past sins, I am just applauding them for moving on from a cancerous basketball player. Don’t worry, New Orleans, you will find out soon enough. Many say the Pelicans traded a bunch of garbage in exchange for Cousins. When it’s all over, I believe Buddy Hield will be the best player in this trade.
Sometimes the best thing a team can do is hit the Nintendo 8-bit reset button. The Kings needed a new direction and a new face to the franchise. Sometimes accepting failure is the first step toward building something special. Think of all the teams that haven’t done that fast enough. Looking at you, New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears are another example that comes to mind.
Now the drama between the Kings and Cousins is finally over. The Sacramento franchise can now wash its hands and move on. Cousins heads to a new city and a new team, featuring a player similar to Cousins’ skills in fellow All-Star Anthony Davis. Unfortunately for the Pelicans this isn’t 2002 where big men rule, it’s a slashing, 3-point shooting league that New Orleans doesn’t have. Can these two share the ball and be effective? Maybe at first, but don’t count on it for long. I can’t wait for the first disagreement between Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry and Cousins. My take is it’s the first domino for the downfall in New Orleans.
I can’t believe I am going to write about this but the Daytona 500 is this Sunday and I might actually have some bets on the race. While I am not the biggest auto racing guy, plenty of people love to bet on this sport and I am talking to those people when I say don’t sleep on the USFantasy NASCAR odds.
Remember, USFantasy is pari-mutuel (betting among each other) sports betting, so you sometimes can find a great number in many different sports the product offers.
For example, last year’s winner Denny Hamlin is sitting at 39-1 at press time, not to win the Daytona 500 but to beat the other nine drivers he’s up against. In comparsion, Hamlin is around 10-1 to win the race at most books in town. There is already $1,298 in the pool so a $20 bet would still keep Hamlin around 25-1. Pretty awesome odds.
Also on the upcoming USFantasy docket, USA Sevens Rugby, which will be at Sam Boyd Stadium March 3-5.