When the New Orleans Pelicans landed Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in a trade consummated during the All-Star Game, it seemed just about everyone but the Kings thought Sacramento got jobbed.
But now we know that's not true—even the Kings believe they got a crap deal for their best player in decades.
Kings general manager Vlade Divac—who entered the gig 10 years removed from the NBA and with no managerial experience—told reporters on Monday that they had a better offer on the table two days earlier and turned it down.
Yep, Vlade actually said this. pic.twitter.com/CEW7aynAZ2
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) February 20, 2017
Which doesn't come as much of a surprise. It really shouldn't be that hard to top the return Sacramento ended up with.
The trade was so lopsided, in fact, that the Kings front office NBA 2K17 won't accept it on account of its lunacy.
The Kings won't do this deal in NBA 2K17 pic.twitter.com/ERaK6TzVfq
— Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre) February 20, 2017
One potential reason for accepting 12 cents on the dollar for their prized big man: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive's obsession with Buddy Hield, who went to the Kings along with a first-round pick, a second-rounder, and the expiring contracts of Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans.
Source familiar w/ Kings’ thinking: "Vivek thinks Buddy [Hield] has Steph Curry potential.” Am told that fixation was a key driver in deal.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) February 20, 2017
The last time Ranadive was so publicly fascinated with a college star that most scouts would tell you didn't have star potential, it was Nik Stauskas.
A year after drafting Stauskas No. 8 overall in 2014 ahead of guys like Dario Saric and Zach LaVine, the Kings traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers along with a first-rounder and the right to swap first-rounders in two other years for … cap space.