Wow! Just wow! We got ourselves another trade but nobody thought it would be a blockbuster one. Woj was dropping bombs all throughout the All-Star game and it really was the best part of the night or the entire weekend festivities. Immediately after the All-Star game, Woj tweeted out that DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans. Let’s take a look at the actual trade that went down before we get into the good stuff.
Pelicans receive: DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi
Kings receive: Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, 2017 first-round pick (top-three protected) and 2017 second-round pick.
I’m not going to bash on the Kings on how horrible of a trade it is since it’s kind of a no-brainer. I mean if the computer on 2k wouldn’t do it, why would you? Vlade Divac probably saw something that no one saw in the Rising Star Challenge that changed his mind. Basically, it didn’t take a lot for the Pelicans to grab Boogie to pair him with Anthony Davis. And now the Pelicans have the two best bigs in the league. Let’s breakdown the trade starting with the Pels first.
DeMarcus Cousins is going to a team in a new system that heavily surrounds one of the best bigs in the NBA in Anthony Davis. It’ll be interesting to see how Davis and Cousins can coexist with each other. They’re both very skilled that they won’t have a logjam situation in the paint. Boogie can stretch the floor and Anthony Davis is an elite mid-range, long-two shooter. But I imagine it’ll be a lot of post ups for Boogie while Davis will continue to have face up opportunities.
Boogie has a 37.6 usage rate, which is second in the league. Anthony Davis has a 32.7 usage rate, which ranks seventh in the league. Both of the can see a drop in usage rate and I believe Boogie might actually be relied on offense more than Anthony Davis. Both of them are also elite rebounders. Cousins averaging 10.6 boards per game while Davis is averaging 12.1 rebounds per game. Boogie has never averaged below 10 rebounds per game except for his rookie year but that’s also because he’s never played with another elite big. Both of them will eat into each other’s rebounding numbers and will see a hit. If both players take a hit on usage rate, the value that they’re going to have will be dependent on their efficiency. That’s where Cousins will slide in terms of rankings, as he’s averaging 45.2 percent from the field, while Davis averages 50.3 percent. Because of this, Cousins might fall to being a top-30 player. Meanwhile, Davis can maybe still sustain a top-10 ranking in 9-cat depending on whether he still can get a decent amount of close range shots. Good news for Davis is that the Pelicans wouldn’t require him to bang down low with the bigs so he has a higher chance of being healthy the rest of the season.
Jrue Holiday has been playing really well, averaging 21.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers in his last 13 games. He managed to do that while shooting 55.6 percent from the field with a 26.3 usage rate in that span. He’s probably going to cool down with the introduction of Cousins in the lineup. The Pelicans will probably slow down the pace of their game. They were ranked 9th in the league in terms of pace and that ranking will probably fall way down. That might affect the fast break opportunities that Holiday has. He also requires the ball a lot to create stuff off the dribble for his scoring chances and he won’t see as many opportunities for that. They’re going to play through Boogie on offense, which means less opportunities for Jrue running the pick and roll with Davis. He’s expected to take a dip across the board in this situation but the bright side is that he might see really heavy minutes. In that 13-game span, he’s averaging 35.3 minutes per game but the Pelicans only have one shooting guard in E’twaun Moore. Holiday might see more minutes as the shooting guard.
Tim Frazier and E’Twaun Moore might be worth an add in 12-team leagues. We all know what Frazier can do as we all witnessed in the early parts of the season. The Pelicans are expected to sign Quinn Cook from the D-league to be their third string point guard. But with the Pels being really short handed at the two spot, Jrue might see a lot of minutes there, resulting Frazier to be the point. It’s hard to find assists in the wire and if you’re desperate for that then Frazier is your man. Expect him to play 25-27 minutes per game. Moore is lone shooting guard on this Pelicans team. He needs heavy minutes to produce lines like 12 points, a three and a steal. It’s not the most appealing line but he’s going to get heavy minutes now. He’s only averaging 24.7 minutes per game and I’m expect that number to climb up to 34-36 minutes per game, assuming that the Pelicans are done with doing business. That can sneakily help Moore return top-100 value so he’s worth a flier.
Besides those three, that’s pretty much going to be it for the Pels for fantasy value. One interesting thing is now Tim Frazier will absolutely be back in the mix. Frazier has played next to Holiday for 229 minutes and the Pelicans actually had a +1.6 net rating, which is a top-10 combo among the 49 with at least 200 minutes. We should see that combo in games more often than not, especially against smaller teams. While Frazier could get some minutes next to Jrue and the first unit, you just know there won’t be stats there. Frazier will have to make his money in the second unit with around 15 minutes at the point. If you need a point guard in fantasy in a deeper league, he could have some value.
No one else are worth anything because the usage rate will be heavily shared between Boogie, Davis and Holiday. Omri Casspi might be a sneaky play in deep leagues. He’s better than the small forwards that the Pelicans have over there and is an underrated part that nobody is talking about regarding the trade. He’s been bothered by a calf problem the entire season but when he’s healthy, he’s good for 10 points, five boards, a three and a steal. He’s definitely better than Solomon Hill and Dante Cunningham in my eyes even though Hill has been doing a solid job lately. Deep leagues like 16-team or 18-team leagues could give him a look. Meanwhile, Terrence Jones might get traded for some needed depth at the guard position so stay tuned for those news.
The Kings might continue to do more business to ship more assets away in return for picks. But if things stay the same, Darren Collison might see a big increase in usage rate. He’s going to be running the show and should be looking more aggressive at getting his own numbers. He has a 18.2 usage rate with Cousins on the floor but when Cousins is off the floor, Collison has a 26.7 usage rate. What’s interesting is that Collison’s efficiency has been relatively a positive contribution but without Cousins, Collison will take a big hit in efficiency. Collison has already been playing well in the last month, returning top-60 value in that span. He’s going to see an increase in stats across the boards, specifically assists (he only averages 4.2 assists for the season, thanks to Boogie’s career high 4.8 assists) but will see a dip in percentages and turnovers. He’s a relatively good three point shooter this season. He’s a 46.2 percent three point shooter when defenders are 4-6 feet away from him and that’s majority of his threes. He’s not going to see much more of open looks from now on.
Buddy Hield’s the future corner stone for the Kings apparently. The 23-year old rookie who needed four years in college and beating kids younger than him to get drafted in the NBA. I’m not a big fan of Hield’s game. It’s not fantasy friendly and he thinks he’s better than he actually is (which in some cases is good, I’m look at you Dion). Hield hasn’t been good this season, averaging 8.6 points, 2.9 boards, 1.4 assists, 1.6 triples and 0.3 steals on 39.2 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from the 3-point line in 20.4 minutes per game. Obviously he’s going to get more minutes playing in Sacramento. This might be the change of scenery that he needs to turn his rookie year around. He’s going to play a role in the Kings’ offense considering how short handed the Kings are right now. He’s a volume shooter and the volume is going to be there but that’s about it. Points and threes with poor percentages if you’re into that stuff.
An interesting prospect that I’m quite excited for is the unleashed Willie Cauley-Stein. Well he hasn’t really been unleashed in games without Boogie, averaging under 25 minutes per game without Cousins this season. However, things are about to change. He was already playing well in the last two weeks, averaging 10.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks on 54.5 percent shooting. That stretch of games could potentially give him the confidence boost to play a significant role for this franchise going forward. What I’m worried about is the fact that he’s going to be in a timeshare with Kosta Koufos. WCS could potentially be a 10 points, 10 rebounds, with a steal and a block if given minutes. He’s not a big that’s going to soak up the usage rate that Cousins left behind but he is a big that can give defensive stats and rebounds. If he gets 30 minutes a game, he’s going to be a top-100 player.
Kosta Koufos is a low upside but could return some decent stats with good efficiency. WCS is the more attractive piece to add right now but if he’s snatched up, Koufos isn’t that bad of an option actually and I still think Dave Joerger isn’t ready to give WCS heavy minutes, which could benefit Koufos. I’ve heard reports that they’re saying Tyreke Evans is going to get waived but contrastingly I’ve also heard that Matt Barnes is going to get waived too. Waiving Evans makes more sense to me and I think that’s the option that the Kings will take. Evans is washed up and shouldn’t be owned. Meanwhile, Barnes might see an increase in usage and generally everything else. He’s already been playing well as of late and could continue for the rest of the season. [Edit: According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Matt Barnes is the one that’s going to be waived. Still, Tyreke is still washed up after three knee surgeries. He is in his contract year, so he might want to get one more paycheque. He’s a flier in 14-team leagues and could be worth owning in 16-team leagues.] Meanwhile, guys like Ben Mclemore, Garrett Temple and Arron Afflalo isn’t worth owning for now.
Trade deadline is coming up and there’s bound to be more trades to breakdown. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter to get the latest posts or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!