Late last night after the NBA All Star Game, the Sacramento Kings were deeply involved in trade talks with a number of teams. As the clock clicked closer to midnight, the Kings stopped taking calls from other teams and supposedly narrowed their focus on one franchise, which we now know was the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal is still being finalized, but according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, New Orleans will send rookie guard Buddy Hield, 2017 first- and second-round picks, and guards Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway to Sacramento for DeMarcus Cousins and forward Omri Casspi.
For the Pelicans, this deal was a slam dunk. New Orleans was desperately looking for a traditional big man to stay down low to gobble up rebounds, as well as someone that can get out, run the floor, handle the rock, and shoot from the perimeter. The Pelicans will also be able to move Anthony Davis to power forward and boast one of the strongest front courts in the entire NBA.
While Boogie Cousins is a free agent after the 2017-2018 season and will command a max contract, because he left the Sacramento Kings, he won't be able to cash out on the "designated player" contract of five-years, $207 million that was available to him because he had been on the All-NBA team in the past two seasons with the Kings. Because of this, Cousins did not want to be traded and was reportedly in shock after being traded.
Now lets get to the big question: Why, for the love of all that is holy, were the Celtics not involved in this deal?
I don't care what your feelings are on Cousins, because Lord knows Green Teamers are going to make excuses as to why they were not involved in acquiring the Alabama native's services. Yes, he is a head case. However, in that league, with a guy of that skill set, sometimes you just have to bite your tongue. A top 10 player that fits a very specific need for the Celtics does not become available every other week, and I am bewildered as to why the Celtics were reportedly not even contacting the Kings. If you are Danny Ainge and aren't exploring every single option to make your team better, then you simply aren't doing your job.
According to multiple outlets, head coach Brad Stevens did not like the prospect of having to coach Boogie Cousins if and when he was traded to Boston. Because of this, Danny Ainge did not go after the Kentucky product as aggressively as he had done in the past. Again, I get it. The dude is a head case. However, he has spent his entire NBA career with the Sacramento Freakin' Kings, who are not exactly the golden beacon as a franchise. When I think about the Kings, they are more likely to be the red-headed middle child that is too small and sometimes smells funny. Is it out of the realm of possibility that Boogie comes to Boston, gets a taste of winning, and cleans up his act, perhaps in similar fashion to, say, Kevin Garnett?
Like I have said before, I get it. I understand why the Celtics weren't involved in this deal. But look at the price. If the Celtics had to give up both Brooklyn picks, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and Jaylen Brown for Boogie Cousins, then I would probably be in the same boat as many of you. However, if the best piece in a deal for the BEST SCORING BIG MAN IN THE NBA is Buddy Hield and a first-round pick that may not even be top 10, you have to pull the trigger.
I have cooled off a bit from last night (see my Twitter timeline at around 12 A.M. last night for what I am talking about), but this deal still triggers me more than a drama major at an Anti-Trump rally in Kenmore Square. Now the Celtics will either do nothing at the Trade Deadline or drastically overpay for Jimmy Butler, which I wouldn't hate, but it still doesn't put you past the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially if you have to give up both Brooklyn picks. The Celtics could have had Boogie without having to give up much, if anything, but are now in a very difficult position as we approach the Trade Deadline on Thursday.
Buckle up, Celtics fans. This is going to be a long week.