DeMarcus Cousins being traded after the All-Star game somehow overlapped everything we had just witnessed. Anthony Davis ended the night with a record 52 points, not to mention, 20 of those points coming in the 4th quarter. That late game outburst tied Glen Rice (2007) for most in a quarter in All-Star game history. It was a historic night capped off with an even more historic trade, or as I’m calling it, the drive by of the century. Somehow the Pelicans managed to send Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans, and two future draft picks to the Kings while receiving Boogie and Omar Casspi. Let me remind you that Tyreke Evans was traded from Sacramento to New Orleans before, now he’s coming back? Yo, Pelicans GM Dell Demps must be a smooth cat to pull that off, I bet his mackin’ skills with the ladies are second to none. He must have been whispering all those sweet nothings in Vlade Divac‘s like Drake did to the culture during Marvin’s Room to pull this off. Someone on Twitter posted a screen shot of them trying to get this trade approved in 2K17, it was denied emphatically by fake 2K Kings GM. I’m sure if the system allowed it to, fake Kings GM would have simply responded, “LOL.”
I say all that to push aside what happened and focus on what DIDN’T happen. Numerous reports were circulating before and after the trade that the Lakers and Kings had been in talks about a possible trade. The Kings had originally been eyeing D’Angelo Russell all summer in exchange for DeMarcus Cousins‘ services and wisely, the Lakers stopped the talks before they even got started. Last night the Kings were eyeing another piece of the Lakers young future, this time it was Brandon Ingram. Once again, the Lakers made the right choice and kept their future star.
There’s a few reasons the Kings were willing to part ways with Cousins in return for Russell or Ingram. One, he had overstayed his welcome. The Kings wanted him out of Sacramento, I’m not sure why when it’s the organizations fault that the team isn’t succeeding. And two, there’s a reason both of those guys are the faces of the franchise post-Kobe, they’re going to be really, really good.
I don’t think you should give up part of your foundation for the future if you’re the Lakers unless the trade you make turns you into an overnight finals contender. But, even then, are you willing to risk the next five, ten or even 15 years for a possible title run? Boogie hasn’t committed to resigning long term, and the Lakers knew that. I’m all about taking a long shot some times, like my boy J. Cole said, “If you scared to take a chance, how the f*#k we gone’ get rich?” The payoff just wasn’t worth the possible risk, Mitch Kupchak was out here making chess moves.
Besides the fact that Cousins may not have signed long term in Los Angeles, I’m almost certain Ingram is a mutant from another galaxy. Have you seen how long Brandon Ingram is? He’s 6’9 with a 7’3 wing span. His arms look like something a superhero has the way they cut off passing lanes and make it hard for you to pass over him. Not to mention, despite his poor shooting numbers this season, Ingram possesses a sweet looking jumper and a rare skill set on the offensive end not seen in the league since KD.
Now, I’m not saying Ingram will ever be the scorer KD is, I’m saying Ingram has the chance to be an effective player on both ends on the floor if he learns to use what he’s been blessed with. They don’t make too many guys like Ingram. I feel like Laker Nation as a whole took a collective sigh of relief last night when we heard the news. We know that teams want a piece of the young talent that the Lakers have, but the front office has been diligent and true to their word. They are rebuilding this team from the ground up through the draft. Mitch Kupchak has done a phenomenal job in the draft and free agency the last few years, andI think Kupchak realizes that he can’t take a chance in breaking this team up before they get the chance to show what they can really do. Most of the guys on the team can’t rent a car on their own, Los Angeles Laker fans will look back at this in five years and realize that being patient was worth it.