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Boogie in the Big Easy

Ja'lin West

Ja'lin West

Jake Roedel, Staff Writer

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This year’s NBA trade deadline was full of rumors. Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose were all thought to be on the move, but none of these speculations turned into a reality. One blockbuster deal that did pan out was the Sacramento Kings sending their star center Demarcus Cousins, as well as sharpshooter Omari Casspi, to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and two draft picks in the most one-sided trade in recent memory.

This deal infuriated Kings fans. Most people outside of the Kings personnel believe that New Orleans came out on top of this deal. Kings general manager Vlade Divac put his career at stake with the move, saying “If I’m wrong, I’ll step down.” The Kings team owner, Vivek Ranadive, believes that 23-year-old guard Buddy Hield has “Steph Curry potential,” which is a ridiculous comparison to make when the two player’s statistics are put side by side. If Ranadive actually believes that Hield will be the next Curry, he really should have no business making basketball decisions moving forward.

Curry proved he was going to be a special player ever since he stepped on an NBA court, shooting an impressive 43.7 percent from deep as a 21-year-old rookie. Hield, who is 23, is shooting just 36.9 percent from 3-point range. At this point, Hield has not shown himself as anything more than a spot-up shooter. He just does not create shots in the same way that Curry does. Curry has obviously outperformed Hield in terms of scoring, but he also contributed more than Hield in number of assists, rebounds and steals in his rookie season. Curry averaged 5.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game in his rookie campaign, while Hield has averaged a mere 1.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 0.3 steals per game. Take away Steph Curry’s shooting, and he’s still able to have a role in the NBA. Take away Buddy Hield’s shooting, and he’s not even in the league.

Though the Pelicans now have the most dominant frontcourt in the league, the rest of their starting lineup is lacking. They traded away Casspi and are missing E’Twaun Moore, so they are really suffering in 3-point shooting. The supporting cast of 10-day contracts and no name players shot 28 percent from the field and 0 percent from 3 in their loss to the Mavericks. The Pelicans also racked up 19 turnovers.

The Pelicans managed to pull off this amazing trade, but they will have to find a new team identity if they want to be competitive in the tough Western Conference. Having two superstar big men can only get them so far. With the playoffs just around the corner, the Pelicans will have to start winning now to secure a spot.

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