Somewhere in Lexington, John Calipari is smiling. And for good reason, is it is time to boogie down in the Big Easy.
Not even 10 minutes after the highest-scoring All-Star Game in history had finished that one of its own participants in DeMarcus Cousins gets to extend his stay in the Big Easy.
While new teammate Antony Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record in scoring 52 points and earning All-Star Game MVP honors, Cousins barely played two minutes—perhaps by design, to protect from injury.
Now, we see why.
According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to a trade sending Demarcus Cousins to New Orleans along with Omar Casspi for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and a future first and second round pick.
Per Wojnarowski, there are mild protections on New Orleans’ 2017 first-round pick, but there are expectations are that Sacramento will get to possibly use it in what will be a deep draft.
After weeks of denying that they would move the former Kentucky big man, Sacramento pulled the trigger in a deal after his agent Jarinn Akana, reportedly stated that Cousins is unlikely to resign with any team he is traded to.
So clearly, New Orleans is gambling on the fact that they can re-sign Cousins to a max contract extension this summer.
Widely considered the best big man in the NBA today, the 26-year-old three-time All-Star is only the third player to average 25 points and ten rebounds per game during the season in averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
In forming perhaps the best big-man duo since Tim Duncan and David Robinson, the Mobile, Alabama native—and fellow Kentucky Wildcat alum—will look to combine to form perhaps the deadliest 1-2 front court tandem in the NBA.
At 23-34 and in tenth place in the top-heavy West, the suddenly-revamped Pelicans can now be considered a legit playoff contender that has a solid core consisting of Cousins, Davis and Jrue Holiday.
Somewhere, title contenders such as Golden State and San Antonio are sweating, while Coach Cal is toasting to a glass of whiskey, as two of his top prize pupils in Cousins and Davis have teamed up to form a real Kentucky connection down on Bourbon St.