Things haven't gone well for the Kings. Back in June, they traded away the No. 8 pick to allow the Suns to get Marquese Chriss in exchange for the No. 13 pick to get Georgios Papagiannis, the No. 28 pick to land Skal Labissiere and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. As it turns out, that deal looks like the Nets-Celtics trade compared to what went down on Sunday night.
The Kings agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick. Yes, they traded a legit max guy for Hield, what will likely be a pick in the teens and a pick in the low 30s. The next time you sell your car, home or anything and didn't feel good about it, just remember you likely got a better deal than the Kings.
In case you missed it, I broke down the Pelicans side of this trade, so bang it here to check that out! After you do that, let's take a look at the Kings:
Darren Collison is now the man in the first unit. In his 227 minutes without Boogie, he posted a 26.7 usage rate, which crushes the 18.2 usage rate with him. Although, Collison’s efficiency is fantastic with Boogie at 60.8 true shooting percentage (TS%) compared to just 48.1 TS% without him.
What’s up with that efficiency dip? The answer to that is pretty wild. Check out his shot locations with Boogie on and off the court:
Wow, look at that dip around the basket and how about how he only had two corner attempts without Boogie, as well. Also, he’s been a disaster on above-the-break treys without him, too. In other words, there is something to this with respect to his efficiency. Still, the usage rate bump in a bigger positive than the potential hit on field goal percentage.
Another advantageous part for Collison is how he has a 31.5 assist percentage without Boogie compared to 20.2 percent with him. Everyone thinks of Boogie as a scorer, but he has a career-high 4.8 assists per game. He’s also seen that soar this month with 7.6 assists per game, too. We can probably expect Collison to get around 6-7 dimes per outing now.
Collison is already on a roll this month, averaging 18.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.6 treys on 50.9 percent from the field. That’s good for fifth-round value in those eight games, so his fantasy owners can probably expect him to stay in that neighborhood going forward.
Tyreke Evans is back in Sactown! You can’t think Reke and the Kings without remembering he won Rookie of the Year over Stephen Curry, and Evans was actually pretty good in his Kings days. The problem is he’s had three knee surgeries and the Pelicans have continued to limit him.
The limitations will be the main thing to watch on Evans. He is in a contract year and is 27 years old, so this will likely be his last chance at a big payday. The Pelicans finally let him go in both halves on a back-to-back set earlier this month, which suggests the Kings may do the same — massive props to the Pelicans for dealing Evans on this deal. Evans played 27 minutes in his last game on Wednesday and he’s up to 20.2 minutes per game in February, but that increase in playing time has led to a drop in efficiency. He’s made just 38.0 percent from the field while he has a 1.0 assist:turnover ratio this month — 2.2 for each stat.
A good thing about Evans is that he can play three positions. Assuming the Kings decide not to wreck Evans long term, it makes sense to keep him in the second unit and at around 25 minutes.
Perhaps the biggest positive on Evans is his Davis splits. Prepare for on/off overload: in his minutes without AD, he had a 30.3 usage rate, a 52.2 TS% and a 38.2 assist percentage. That destroys his stats with AD, posting a 23.8 usage rate, a 43.4 TS% and a 29.2 assist percentage. His splits are even better on Jrue, posting a 29.4 usage rate, a 54.2 TS% and a 41.3 assist percentage. That tops his 23.1 usage rate, 34.2 TS% and a 19.3 assist percentage with him. If he does come off the bench, he should be able to clean up in the 12-14 minutes without Collison.
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Moving forward on the fantasy side, he’s going to be a volatile asset and you do have to be a little discouraged about his recent play. Sure, he should be owned right now, but I would love to sell him while this new opportunity helps his value in standard leagues.
And we’ve come to the Buddy Hield portion of the program. The fact that Jamal Murray went off in the second half of the Rising Stars Challenge with 25 points to take the MVP away from Hield was just perfect. Back in September, Hield said he was better than Murray on a Periscope Q&A. “I’m a better player than Murray, you stop being crazy,” Hield said. Oh word?
Anyway, Hield has not been good whatsoever. Here’s what his shot chart looks like this season:
Yikes. Hitting only 44.7 percent in the paint is just not acceptable. On top of that, he’s also seen his 3-point percentage drop in the last two months: 47.8 percent in December, 41.9 percent in January and 35.3 percent in February. For some reason, the Kings just sure do love to take underperforming shooting guards: Jimmer Fredette, Nik Stauskas, Ben McLemore and now Hield. The 23-year-old shooter could still turn it around, but he’s just not doing much else right now.
From a pure stats standpoint, he’s averaged just 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks and 1.6 treys on 39.2 percent from the field. He only had 2.0 assists per game in college last year, and he also made just 35.3 percent from deep in his first three years at Oklahoma before his breakout 2015-16 season. Not good.
Hield should be thrust into a sizable role, especially with how thin the Kings are at shooting guard. The rookie should be considered as the favorite to start and the volume could be there on shooting. However, there just isn’t much to like here from a season-long fantasy standpoint. Hey, maybe he’ll be worth a $4.5K price tag in DFS every once in a while.
Rounding out the perimeter guys, Tyreke and Evans running the offense spells trouble for Ty Lawson. What’s more, the addition of Hield hurts Ben McLemore, who was playing his best ball of the season. Langston Galloway is also expected to be waived while it’s possible the Kings waive Matt Barnes, as well. I would still hold Barnes in deeper leagues, but he definitely could see the bottom fall out for his minutes. Arron Afflalo was also playing decent ball and was even a backup point guard earlier this month. He shouldn’t see much of a change, but his upside is obviously higher on a given night due to Boogie being out of the picture. It’s too bad Malachi Richardson (hamstring) is going to be out 4-6 weeks because he was likely looking at some decent minutes at the three.
Let’s shift to the frontcourt and start with Willie Cauley-Stein. In his last seven games, he averaged 10.0 points, 4.1 boards, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks on 54.5 percent from the field. He should be slotting into most of Boogie’s minutes, but the two are almost complete opposites as offensive weapons. Here’s his shot chart this season:
Not much to it besides his work in the paint. In fact, he’s assisted on 77.6 percent of made field goals and made 22.2 percent on jumpers. That’s not surprising at all after the Kings tried to make Trill a focal point in Summer League, but it couldn’t have gone worse. He made just 25.7 percent from the field against the inferior talent in the post and really doesn't have a face-up game.
Discouraging scoring aside, Cauley-Stein should be looking at minutes around 30 now. As long as the Kings just stick with him as a roll man or as a guy to clean up on the offensive glass, he should still be an effective guy for efficiency. He’s also made 75.0 percent from the line in his last 15 games — only 28 attempts, but still.
Another down side of this is his block rate has slightly fallen off. Again, you almost have to pick him up if you need a center due to the big opportunity in front of him.
Kosta Koufos is another guy who should be stepping up. In the twos games without Boogie, Koufos averaged 8.0 points, 9.0 boards, 2.0 assist and 1.0 blocks in 26.0 minutes. Of course, his usage rate goes up to 17.2 without Cousins, which is a nice number for him to have a decent floor. I’d still much rather have WCS, but don’t be surprised if Koufos makes an impact. Anthony Tolliver could also benefit with more shots from deep, so he’s someone to watch if you’re in a deep league and need treys from a PF.
So who else? The Kings may be dusting off Skal Labissiere. He’s still a major project with just 52 total minutes all season. I didn’t even add him in my 30-man league, so he’s not exactly a pickup.
Let’s end this with Georgios Papagiannis. He’s played a grand total of 18 minutes in his NBA career, so we really can’t even measure how he can perform on that level. Although, he was a disaster at Summer League, making 35.7 percent from the field. Here’s what his D-League shot chart looks like:
Oh so that’s why they did the Boogie deal! Kidding aside, he is still not that efficient in the D-League at just 52.7 TS% with his 19.5 usage rate. He does seem like Vlade Divac’s guy, so maybe he gets some run.
Get ready for a wild week, you guys.