The Sacramento Kings finally pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal involving DeMarcus Cousins after the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, sending him to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The return for Boogie wasn’t overwhelming – Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and 2017 first and second-round picks – considering how talented Cousins is.
Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t even the best offer the Kings received. VP of Basketball Operations and GM Vlade Divac admitted as much on Monday during his press conference, saying he was offered more two days ago.
“I had a better deal two days ago. Talk to those agents. I don’t want to go into details. I don’t want to discuss the process. It was a big process for us. This was the best time and the best offer we could get [at] this particular time.”
Divac said if the Kings would have waited until closer to the trade deadline to deal Cousins, they ‘most likely’ would have gotten less in return – pointing to the ‘better deal’ from two days prior.
This obviously comes as a huge surprise and is seriously concerning for the Kings. Why would Divac turn down a better offer just two days before sending him to New Orleans? There are several potential scenarios, but it’s clear the Kings were trying to rid themselves of Cousins as soon as they could.
In an official statement, Divac had this to say about the trade, making a point to say ‘character matters.’
“It was time for a change and I decided this was the best direction for the organization, said Divac. Winning begins with culture and character matters. With the upcoming draft class set to be one of the strongest in a decade, this trade will allow us to build the depth needed for a talented and developing roster moving forward. We thank DeMarcus for his contributions and wish him all the best in New Orleans. The fans in Sacramento are the best in the world and we are all committed to building a team that will continue to make Sacramento proud.”
During his press conference, Divac also cited the need to not just contend right now, but to build for the future. The Kings are doing that with this trade by acquiring young talent and additional picks, but they did so at the expense of a cornerstone player.