Welp, it finally happened. After days … months … years of saying that DeMarcus Cousins will not be traded, Sacramento has finally sent Boogie packing for New Orleans.
The price tag is Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick (top-3 protected) and a 2017 second-round pick. Let’s break down the fantasy implications for both sides here.
The first thing that comes to mind? BOOGIE AND ANTHONY DAVIS ARE TEAMMATES.
As fantastic as this might be for the Pelicans, who currently sit just outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference, both studs have to take a slight fantasy hit here. They still play the game with one ball, so jacking up 30 shots a night isn’t going to be in the gameplan anymore for Cousins.
However, this is going to be extremely fun to watch. The last time we saw two big men this talented team up might be Tim Duncan and David Robinson, but both of those guys were true, traditional centers. Boogie and AD might be the two most skilled/versatile bigs in the league. Keep in mind both of these guys participated in the Skills Challenge (which is built for point guards) on Saturday night.
Davis and Cousins will see their scoring averages dip for sure, but that doesn’t mean they both can’t continue producing huge DFS numbers. They’ll continue ripping down boards, and you could argue that their assist numbers could be on the rise playing alongside each other.
What will be most interesting if to see if both Cousins and Davis buy in defensively. If they do, there shouldn’t be any easy buckets against the Pelicans with this duo holding down the paint.
Once you move past the big names, the more important fantasy implications are likely in New Orleans’ backcourt. You may notice that all of the names heading to Sacramento are guards, which means a lot of minutes just opened up. Jrue Holiday will obviously be the third wheel here, and should definitely see his value drop since he’ll no longer be the Robin to Davis’ Batman. But the big winners should be Tim Frazier and E’Twaun Moore, who should see a TON of minutes in the backcourt.
Solomon Hill could see more minutes at SF, and if the Pelicans want to go really big, Terrence Jones could even see minutes alongside Davis and Cousins. The more realistic option is that Jones will also take a hit in value, while Donatas Motiejunas, Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca will struggle to even see the floor.
In Sacramento, the Kings will be struggling to even put a product on the court. Already demolished by injuries, Darren Collison probably becomes the team’s best player. He’s put up huge numbers when Cousins has missed time, so Collison immediately becomes a fantastic mid-price play.
The Kings are thin in the backcourt after Collison, though. Buddy Hield and Tyreke Evans will be called upon to be major contributors. Given the lack of star power, both of them should be great value plays, even while still getting accustomed to their new team. It’d be shocking if both of them aren’t heavily featured.
The bigger news is that the Kings didn’t acquire one big in exchange for Cousins, which means if they don’t follow this up with another move, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos are about to eat up MONSTER minutes in the front court. Along with Moore and Frazier, those guys should be the big value plays that come out of this trade.
color:red}*UPDATE:* Matt Barnes has been waived by the Kings, per ESPN.
To a lesser extent, Skal Labissiere and Anthony Tolliver could also see a value bump, while Matt Barnes should also step in as a featured player on the team. Yes, the Kings’ three best players are Collison, Evans and Barnes. While that won’t bring any hardware to town, it will make for an interesting mix of fantasy value plays.
Coming out of the All-Star break, most of these players should be solid value before their salaries rise. From a basketball standpoint, let’s all pray that the Pelicans sneak into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed and give us the most star-studded first-round matchup of all-time against the Warriors.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.