We’re closing in on 24 hours since news of the DeMarcus Cousins trade broke, and heads are still spinning. Sacramento Kings basketball boss Vlade Divac didn’t do much to help curb the fallout when he faced the media on Monday afternoon, especially after he confessed that he “had a better deal two days ago.”
Yes, you read that right. But if you don’t trust your lyin’ eyes, give your ears a chance to clear things up.
Yep, Vlade actually said this. pic.twitter.com/CEW7aynAZ2
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) February 20, 2017
So, to sum up, Divac thought that if he didn’t move on Sunday night to send Cousins (and swingman Omri Casspi) to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for rookie guard Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and a first- and second-round pick in this year’s draft, the potential return would only get worse, and he was certain of it because he passed on a better offer a couple days prior.
That doesn’t seem like the best way to, you know, be a GM of an NBA team. But remember, these are the Kings we’re talking about.
Before he confessed to not making the best deal he was allegedly offered, Divac issued a statement regarding the trade.
Kings GM Vlade Divac statement on officially trading DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans pic.twitter.com/ppnX6dD5Ga
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) February 20, 2017
Forget for a moment that Divac didn’t even remember to include Casspi, who has now survived two separate stints in Sacramento, in his statement. Instead, focus on the second sentence. The one that reads, “Winning begins with character and culture.” Now that may or may not be true, but to say it out loud like that immediately sets off alarms that you don’t believe the player you just traded can exist in a positive culture and does not possess positive character. Divac is taking a clear shot at Cousins here.
Add to that the fact that, per The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Divac assured Cousins’s agent that his client wouldn’t be traded on the same day he was in fact traded (as well as the day before he released a statement espousing the importance of character and culture). Then mix it all together and what you wind up with is a most Kings-y concoction indeed.