by Kyle Flynn
The NBA’s All Star Weekend has come and gone, and the second half of the regular season gets underway again on Thursday. The days that follow the weekend’s slate of activities are dedicated to one thing and one thing only (other than practice of course), TRADE RUMORS.
In this social media age, everyone and their mother has a trade rumor that they’ve “heard”, that will most likely never come true. ESPN.com even has their own “NBA Trade Machine,” where fans can arrange different hypothetical trades that would work within the league’s rules. Though it is a fun thing to fool around with for some time, it does not account for the most important piece: the human element.
Sacramento Kings center Demarcus Cousins, and if you are unfamiliar with him, he is one of the very best centers in the league. Demarcus is considered difficult to handle at times, as he does not have a very great temper and leads the NBA in technical fouls, among a list of other complaints those in basketball hierarchy have about him. Although he may have a troublesome behavior, he could still be the key piece to a potential championship contending team.
Cousins has been rumored in trade talks for quite some time now, and Sunday night he was the first player to be moved before the deadline. “Boogie” as he goes by to many, was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans to team up with fellow All Star Anthony Davis, in what could be one of the premier duo’s the NBA has to offer. The biggest part of this story is about who he was traded for. The Kings in return got Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, a 2017 first and second round pick. Three players and two picks and still, people are calling this one of the worst deals in history for Sacramento.
Many rumored trades for superstars Paul George (Pacers) and Jimmy Butler (Bulls), but both players stayed in their respective organizations. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics were potential landing spots for both players, and the two teams headlined pretty much the entire week. Because the Lakers cleaned house and hired Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations, and because the Celtics have so many assets, that could be dealt for a player that could give them a chance to make the finals. The Celtics ended up making no trades, but the Lakers picked up Corey Brewer and a 2017 first round pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Lou Williams. The Lakers also traded Marcelo Huertas for Tyler Ennis, in a second deal with the Rockets on Magic Johnsons first day as boss.
The biggest winner of the deadline was the Toronto Raptors, adding Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic and P.J. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns. In return, the Magic get Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round pick. While the Suns get Jared Sullinger and two future second round picks. Ibaka is a huge addition to a team hoping to make a run at the Eastern Conference title, which they lost to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
Other notable trades were: Philadelphia 76ers Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a 2017 first round pick; Chicago Bulls Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson and a 2018 second round pick for Oklahoma City Thunders Cam Payne, Anthony Morrow and Joffrey Lauvergne; Philadelphia 76ers Ersan Ilyasova to the Atlanta Hawks for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second round pick; and lastly, the Washington Wizards swap Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and a 2017 first round pick for Brooklyn Nets Chris McCullough and Bogdan Bogdanovic.