DeMarcus Cousins reportedly set for Pelicans switch

By Brandon Schlager 20 February 2017 421
DeMarcus Cousins reportedly set for Pelicans switch

In retrospect, the two minutes and 27 seconds DeMarcus Cousins spent on court in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game appear to have been a showcase for what is to come.

In the immediate aftermath of the game, reports suggested the Sacramento Kings had agreed to leave their franchise centre in New Orleans with the Pelicans in a blockbuster trade anchored by rookie guard Buddy Hield and a 2017 first-round draft pick. The pick is top-three protected.

Sacramento will also reportedly receive guards Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway and a 2017 second-round pick, while forward Omri Casspi is headed to New Orleans with Cousins.

The news, which has yet to be made official having been first reported by The Vertical, unfolded gradually on Sunday afternoon as rumours provided a distraction to the All-Star Weekend's main event.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was said to be growing increasingly uneasy about committing upward of $200 million on a long-term extension to Cousins, and a number of NBA teams, including the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics, reportedly moved in on discussions to claim the three-time All-Star.

Cousins' time in Sacramento always seemed tenuous, especially in the last three seasons that were marred by near-constant trade rumours and controversy with coaches and front office personnel.

As the Kings and Cousins' agent, Jarinn Akana, publicly affirmed mutual commitment to one another, the trade manifested behind the scenes while the East and West put on a show at Smoothie King Center.

Cousins' new top running mate, Anthony Davis, earned MVP honors with a record 52 points.

"This is an unbelievable weekend," Davis said to when told of the trade. "All-Star MVP and now getting Boogie [Cousins]. It doesn't get better than this."

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Brandon Schlager