The NBA started to ramp up this past weekend, as this is when many say the NBA season actually “starts”, but it wasn’t necessarily due to the action on the court. As the trade deadline approaches, Sunday night saw what could be one of the most influential trades of the modern day, but definitely one of the more odd ones.
The Sacramento Kings, who had assured Demarcus Cousins and everyone else that they weren’t looking to move him, did just that and moved him. They wound up sending Cousins’ to the New Orleans Pelicans, or told him to stay where he was, considering he was already in the NOLA. On top of the shockwave that the trading of “Boogie” caused initially, there were several tremors resulting from the move, with the most intense being the haul that the Kings received for Demarcus Cousins. Where the sarcasm was real in the last sentence, the Kings were what some would have called “fleeced” in this trade, but were they really?
For the services of arguably the best center in the NBA, the Sacramento Kings took back a first round pick, a second round pick, former Kings Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and one Buddy Hield. Hield, the sharp shooter from Oklahoma, is what was considered the “prized possession” of the trade for the Sacramento Kings owner.
Evans has been hurt a lot over the course of his career, even dating back to his first stint with Sacramento, however when healthy he can be an extremely effective player. It still wouldn’t surprise me either way to see him stay or waived. Langston Galloway has been a “sparkplug” type and defender for the Pelicans and the Knicks, where he initially caught on, over the past few seasons but he projects to nothing more than a bench rotation player at this point. The first and Second round picks should go nice with their own picks, some with protections and provisions, as this is said to be a very deep draft with 10 or so potential superstars. The pride of Sacramento, key to this trade, and said to have been on Kings owner Vivek Ranadive’s radar since the draft process, Buddy Hield is the straw that apparently stirs the drink here. As noted above, he is believed to have “Steph Curry” like potential, but is this true?
Who’s to say what his ceiling really is? When looking at Buddy Hield, you have a decently built, above average athlete with long arms and good height for the two guard position. He had a decent to average handle coming out of college, and wasn’t afraid to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket, accepting contact and all when he did. The thing that truly separates Hield from the rest is his shooting ability. Spot up, off a screen, or pulling up off the dribble, Hield showed that he could absolutely light it up in college.
The key word in the above though, COLLEGE. This league is a long way away from the “Big 12”, but that isn’t to say that with a little experience and confidence he can’t become that same type of guy in this league. If he continues to gain confidence and refine his game, his upper ceiling is actually a “Steph” type with extreme defensive potential, in that he would be able to rain jump shots at any time and from anywhere, similar to the way he did in college and Steph Curry does now. His lower ceiling is a “Klay Thompson” type, with that same defensive potential, except with his best shooting coming off spot up opportunities, set plays, and screens. Now, none of this could occur and he could absolutely bottom out, hitting his floor. Luckily, we weren’t the ones that gave up Demarcus Cousins, again the best center in the NBA, for the chance to see.