Sports are full of “what if” questions.
After the Sacramento Kings traded star center DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday for the package of Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and two draft picks, the Kings had a “what if” moment.
Following the 2011 NBA Draft, the Kings had guard Isaiah Thomas, center Hassan Whiteside and Cousins all on their roster. As of Monday, they have none of them.
So what happened?
Well in July 2012, the Kings waived Whiteside, who they weren’t sure would ever develop into a rotation player based on his poor attitude and work ethic. Of course, Whiteside caught on with the Miami Heat and got his act together to become the dominant rim protector that he is today. It’s hard to blame the Kings too much for this move since Whiteside went unclaimed and played internationally before signing with the Heat, so just about everyone initially missed on Whiteside.
Then there’s the Thomas trade.
After the 2014 season, the Kings dealt the electric point guard to the Phoenix Suns for Alex Oriakhi and a $7 million trade exception. Thomas, as you probably know, went on to develop into an All-Star with the Boston Celtics, and Oriakhi never really panned out, as he now plays professionally in Mexico.
The Kings washed their hands of Cousins on Sunday, and the final verdict won’t be available for a few years, but the early returns don’t look promising.
Sacramento went from having three All-Star caliber players to having Hield and a second helping of Evans, who also was on the Kings’ roster in 2011.
That’s a pretty big “what if” for the Kings.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Marton/USA TODAY Sports Images