DeMarcus Cousins’ appearance in the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans was brief, scoring 3 points in two minutes.
But his minute totals inside the Smoothie King Arena are about to rise, as the Pelicans, in a blockbuster move, have acquired the three-time All-Star center from the Sacramento Kings. The deal was announced by both teams on Monday.
The trade sends Cousins, 26, and forward Omri Casspi to New Orleans, while the Kings in return receive guard Buddy Hield, guard/forward Tyreke Evans, guard Langston Galloway and 2017 first- and second-round picks. The move pairs Cousins, who is fourth in the NBA in scoring this season, with fellow big man Anthony Davis, who is fifth in that category.
During Sunday’s All-Star Game, there were rumblings that the trade was imminent. Following the game, Davis was asked about the possibility.
“He’s a great player, dominant in this league, of course, with all the numbers he put up, but I haven’t heard anything,” Davis said following the All-Star Game. “I’m going to let the management once again do what they do, and when the time is right they’ll come talk to me about it. Of course, DeMarcus is an elite player in this league.”
When it comes to Cousins’ talent, in fact, there are no question marks. He’s one of the best NBA players in the game today, averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per game this season. He also was part of Team USA in the 2016 Olympics, winning gold in Rio.
But Cousins has had a volatile career. He is known for having a short fuse and racking up technical fouls. Earlier this month, the NBA suspended Cousins for one game without pay after receiving his 16th technical foul of the season during a February 6 game, in which the Kings lost 112-107 to the Chicago Bulls. Since that suspension, he’s now up to a league-high 17 technical fouls, putting him a tech away from another suspension.
Additionally, Cousins was fined $25,000 for making an inappropriate statement and gesture on February 4 after leaving the court following the Kings’ 109-106 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors.
Cousins has one season left on his current contract and is eligible for free agency in 2018.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.