Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Demarcus Cousins is finally free

The Sacramento Kings must have the dumbest personnel in the NBA.

On Feb. 19, just minutes after the All-Star game, the Kings traded Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins, their best player by far, to the New Orleans Pelicans for two halfway-decent players, a mediocre rookie and two draft picks. A team that was one game out of the playoff hunt for the first time in 10 years completely blew up their team and got almost nothing in return.

Demarcus Cousins is only 26 years old and is averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game. He is without a doubt the best center in the NBA right now and he recently said that he wanted to be a Sacramento King for life. You don’t trade an asset like him, and definitely not for what the Kings traded him for.

However, we all should have been expecting this. The Kings failed to build a decent team around Cousins in the seven years that he wore the purple and black, making a ton of mistakes along the way. They had a great point guard in Isaiah Thomas, and decided to trade him for a forward named Alex Oriakhi and a $7 million trade exception. Oriakhi now plays overseas, and Isaiah Thomas is a dark horse MVP candidate who averages 29.9 points per game with 6 assists.

They decided to waive Hassan Whiteside in 2012. Whiteside is now the starting center for the Miami Heat and is averaging 16.8 points, 14.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.

That’s not all that the Kings did during Boogie’s time with the Kings. They also have a history of scouting and drafting horribly. In 2011, the Kings drafted Jimmer Fredette, a complete bust, over Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard, two perennial All-Stars. They also drafted Thomas Robinson, who is on the Los Angeles Lakers and averaging 3.9 points per game, just before Damian Lillard, who is averaging 25.7 points.

In last year’s draft the Kings, who already had the best center in the league, decided to pick up two unproven centers in the first round instead of trying to find help at other positions for Cousins.

Cousins can be a distraction and seems to have anger issues, but with the level of incompetence that the Kings’ personnel showed for managing a team, I would be mad as well.

I personally believe that Cousins will be a lot more happy with the Pelicans this season, and the Kings will ultimately regret trading him. They have already shown that they are incapable of selecting quality players in the draft, and I do not think that their selections this year will be any different.

It seems that the Kings will continue to have losing records for the next few years. I’m thankful that Cousins won’t have to get dragged down by them any longer.

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @patpacesports on Twitter.

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