By Peter Gleason
The ripples are still being felt after last night’s blockbuster trade that sent the Kings’ center Boogie Cousins to the Pelicans.
And the Sixers are one of the biggest winners!
Thanks to former big boss Sam Hinkie’s (above) 2015 trade that brought Nik Stauskas to Philly, the Sixers are invested in the Kings being bad.
There are a couple of NBA draft assets that the Kings still owe the Sixers from that trade:
1. 2017 Pick Swap: Specifically, the Sixers have the right to swap their 2017 first-round pick for Sacramento’s 2017 first-round pick protected for selections 11-30. The Kings are currently 0.5 games out of the draft’s Top-10, but they’re now also removing a borderline Top-10 player in Cousins from the equation without replacing him. Here are some numbers to keep an eye on:
When Cousins doesn’t play, the Kings are 7.1 points per 100 possessions worse than their opponents. That level of play is worse than every team during the 2016-17 season with the lone exception of Brooklyn.
The Kings are the 11th-worst team in the NBA right now, but they’re also only 2 1/2 games behind the Sixers, the league’s fifth-worst team.
It remains to be seen how the Sixers fare down stretch, specifically with the health of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The good news for Bryan Colangelo is that if the team continues to win games, that insurance Hinkie bought a few years ago likely will allow them to draft higher than they should.
2. 2019 Unprotected First-Round Pick: Cousins, who had a major financial incentive to stay in Sacramento thanks to the new CBA, was the reason for pause looking ahead to 2019 from the Sixers’ perspective. Even with his checkered off-court history, Cousins averages 28 points (on above average efficiency), 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. It’s almost impossible to truly tank when a 28-year-old Boogie is on your roster.