If there’s one thing that has always been an annoyance of mine in the association it’s how teams will fall over themselves to help their already far superior counterparts. This was my reasoning for hating the Kyrie trade for Boston and why I think the potential trade that would send Iman Shumpert and the coveted Brooklyn pick to New Orleans for Demarcus Cousins. Yes, you read that right.
Sure, my annoyance can be viewed as short sighted given how teams have different motivations for making certain transactions, this one included. But there is most definitely something to be said about giving a fortunate group another leg up on the competition thus widening the already cavernous gap between the Cavs and the rest of the Eastern Conference.
What worries me is that I definitely wouldn’t recommend that the Pelicans should jump at the chance to deal Boogie without getting a good look how he plays with Davis and the rest this Pels squad. However, the pick makes this a good deal in considering the future. Plus, in the current Shumpert can be at least a placeholder at the 3 since New Orleans just decided not to do anything about that this summer. But with Anthony Davis due up next summer the possibility of losing the only other star they have only to bank on the result of the Brooklyn pick producing a ready made star is quite the conundrum. This is a pretty big chance to take for a franchise that is desperate for a winner but is even more desperate for a clear direction and identity.
Another incentive here for the Pelicans is that there are numerous possibilities to get a deal done. If Shumpert is involved Channing Frye can make the money work. Tristan Thompson is another possibility here and since Bron Bron got him pizzaid the contracts matchup remarkably well for a head to head swap. However, I would imagine that the already offensively stagnant Pels (26th in offensive rating last season) would like to get a piece back that could provide them with some buckets. Also, depending on Cleveland’s desire to move away from Kevin Love in the new Kody Altman regime he can be an option here. Love can definitely provide some much needed scoring and the Pels could use this as an opportunity to flip Alexis Ajinca in order to match money.
Either way the pick is kind of the star here but as mentioned up top it will be a high wire act to both get a return that will look good for the near future as well as getting pieces that will appease Davis enough to strongly consider staying. The debate over how good the Nets pick is projected to be coupled with Davis’ trade grumblings makes this a far more complicated discussion. One that we’ll most definitely have moving forward. But for now, this just looks like a premature end to what could have been something really special.