The Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans just pulled off a blockbuster trade, with the Kings shipping out one of the league’s best players in DeMarcus Cousins a year before he’s set to become a free agent. The deal, which our friends at SB Nation called “one of the worst trades in NBA history,” is so imbalanced in the Pelicans’ favor that even the video game version of the Kings wouldn’t agree to it.
Here’s a full breakdown of the trade, along with each player’s current rating in NBA 2K17:
Sacramento Kings get:
- SG Tyreke Evans, 78
- SG Buddy Hield, 74
- SG Langston Galloway, 74
- 2017 first-round draft pick
- 2017 second-round draft pick
New Orleans Pelicans get:
- C DeMarcus Cousins, 93
- SF Omri Cassipi, 70
At a 93 overall in NBA 2K17, Cousins is currently the seventh-best player in the game. Pairing him with Anthony Davis (94 overall) will give the Pelicans a formidable frontcourt duo that’s second only to the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, in terms of NBA 2K17 ratings.
The consensus around the NBA, as well as among media reports and basketball fans, is that the Kings got fleeced in the deal. The Sporting News and SB Nation both attempted to pull off the trade in NBA 2K17, but the in-game Kings vetoed the deal because the return simply wasn’t good enough for a player of Cousins’ caliber.
Technically, the deal as it happened in real life was invalid in the video game because it would’ve left the Kings with too many players. (We checked, and Galloway is the odd man out: He’s currently sitting in NBA 2K17’s free agent pool.) That forced SB Nation to add Ty Lawson alongside Cousins and Cassipi. But having the Kings give up another player when they were already getting robbed was unlikely to help the situation, and here’s how the team’s virtual general manager turned down the trade offer:
“DeMarcus Cousins is someone we consider untouchable,” said the Kings’ in-game GM. “The only way I accept a trade for him is if I’m blown away and this one doesn’t do that.”
For reference, the Kings’ real-life GM, Vlade Divac, told ESPN just two weeks ago that the team was “not trading DeMarcus.” And Cousins’ agent said yesterday — before the Kings and Pelicans agreed to the deal — that Kings officials had “assured me, and DeMarcus, that the Kings won’t trade him and are committed to signing DeMarcus long term.”
Perhaps Divac and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive should play more NBA 2K17.