Kings Trade DeMarcus Cousins To Pelicans

Written by Matt Moore at CBS Sports.com

In a shocking turn of events Sunday night, Yahoo Sports reports that Sacramento Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cousins now unites with fellow former Kentucky Wildcat Anthony Davis in New Orleans to form a combination of two of the top five big men in the NBA. This is an absolute fleecing, as the picks are likely to vanish in value with Cousins and the Brow together. The Pelicans did not have to surrender star guard Jrue Holiday, any of their big men or talented wings like E’Twuan Moore. The Kings have gone from being sure of re-signing Cousins to a $200 million extension next summer to getting Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans’ expiring contract, Langston Galloway and a pick.

Let’s grade the trade.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS 

RECEIVE: DeMarcus Cousins (C), Omri Casspi (F)

SURRENDER: Buddy Hield (G), Tyreke Evans (G), Langston Galloway (G/F), 1st-round pick (protection unclear), 2nd round pick

GRADE: A+

Are you kidding me? Did Dell Demps take Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac to Bourbon Street to complete this deal? How did they pull this off? Dell Demps was considered to be at least on a mild hot seat. The Pelicans were scrambling trying just to get over .500 and failing to do so, and everyone was saying they were a crime against basketball for failing to get Davis help with his incredible production.

Well, he got him help.

Keep in mind what the Pels didn’t give up here: Davis, Jrue Holiday, multiple first-round picks, E’Twaun Moore, Solomon Hill, Tim Frazier, Donatas Motiejunas. At the very least, Holiday should have headlined this trade, but because he didn’t, New Orleans has a talented two-way point guard to get the ball to his bigs. They add an MVP-caliber player who can dominate the game next to their MVP-caliber player who can dominate the game. They have the No. 3 and No. 6 big men in Win Shares this season. And they didn’t have to give up multiple picks.

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Buddy Hield Drafted by New Orleans Pelicans


Written by Jeff Duncan at NOLA.com

Little went right for the New Orleans Pelicans last season so they were overdue for some good fortune when the NBA Draft started on Thursday night.

And for once, seemingly everything went their way. Boston and Phoenix surprised the analysts and took Jaylen Brown and Dragan Bender ahead of them at Nos. 3 and 4, and the guy the Pelicans wanted and needed the most fell into their nest.

New Orleans Pelicans select Buddy Hield with 6th overall pick in 2016 NBA Draft

Hield made 45.7 percent of his 3-point attempts this past season for Oklahoma

For so many reasons, Oklahoma sharpshooter Buddy Hield was the perfect pick for the Pels. This was a no-brainer.

He is the best shooter in the NBA Draft. Heck, he’s one of the best shooters to come out of college basketball in years. The guy hit a ridiculous 45.7 percent of his 3-pointers at Oklahoma last season and sank a Curry-like 85 of 100 3-pointers in a workout for the Boston Celtics earlier this month. He routinely made that many or more in practice at OU.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, poses for photos with prospective NBA draft picks Buddy Hield (left in white jacket), Kris Dunn, right, Ben Simmons, third from left, and Brandon Ingram, second from right, before the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York.

With his quick, high release and dead-eye marksmanship, he’s a perfect fit for coach Alvin Gentry’s pace-and-space offensive system, the ideal replacement for Eric Gordon and/or Ryan Anderson, should either or both leave via free agency.

Playing alongside Jrue Holiday at the point and Anthony Davis in the paint or at the elbow, Hield can plant himself behind the 3-point line on the wing and make opponents think twice about doubling A.D. No more watching Alonzo Gee or Dante Cunningham clang those wide-open looks from the corner.

“I’m a scorer,” Hield told reporters in New York on Thursday night. “I can shoot the ball a lot. Love to shoot. And I feel like when I go there (to New Orleans) I can open up the floor for Anthony Davis and other guys to be able to penetrate.”

Indeed, the threat of Hield on the wing should create space for every Pelican on the floor.

“For a guy like Anthony Davis, they have a guy like me who can shoot the ball really well can keep the floor spaced,” Hield said. “Create more space.”

 

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Buddy Hield and his NBA Draft Stock


Written by Adam McGee at Behind The Buck Pass.com

Who is Buddy Hield?

If you watch even the smallest measure of college basketball you don’t need me to tell you who Buddy Hield is.

Hield is a senior who has put together a remarkable season for the Oklahoma Sooners, and in the process seems likely to buck much of the conventional wisdom and biases that NBA teams often hold against prospects who’ve gone through a full four year stint in college.

After three solid seasons in which he flashed steady growth and ability, Hield entered the 2015-16 season set to embark upon a campaign that could well go down in the history books. All along the way, many looked on waiting for what seemed like an inevitable drop-off

It never came.

As Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation noted, Hield is on track to prove himself as the best shooter in college basketball since Stephen Curry.

In this of all eras, that’s the kind of thing that is certain to make some noise. It’s not as if Hield is just a deadeye marksmen either though. He not only carries his team in scoring, but he’s guiding them to success.

The Sooners will face off with Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament and after a season where they landed a second seed in the West, they will be hopeful that they can advance to the Elite Eight and beyond for the first time in over seven years, behind Hield’s star play.

As the man from the Bahamas becomes more and more of a household name, what is it that makes Hield worth all of the attention though?

Where could he fall in the draft order on the night, and will Milwaukee be on the board and interested?

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Oklahoma beats A&M, Will Play Oregon

Written by Mike DiGiovanna at LATimes.com

Kyle Lindsted’s first sight of Buddy Hield is burnt in his mind like a brilliant tropical sunset. It was six years ago, when Lindsted, then the basketball coach at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan., was scouting a showcase in the Bahamas.

“He was just a little bitty guy with a smile and a dream,” Lindsted, now a Wichita State assistant, said of Hield, who was a stringy 16-year-old high school sophomore. “I just fell in love with him from the very beginning.”

The little bitty guy has grown into a strapping 6-foot-4, 214-pound senior guard whose long-range shooting skills have been compared to Stephen Curry. Hield has led Oklahoma to a NCAA West Regional semifinal at the Honda Center, where the Sooners will play Texas A&M on Thursday.

And the dream of signing a professional contract and lifting his family out of poverty is about to become reality. Hield, who is averaging 25.4 points a game and is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player, is projected to be a top-10 pick in June’s NBA draft.

But that smile? That hasn’t changed a bit. Hield displays a joie de vivre that has fueled his team for four years.

“Unbelievable,” Oklahoma assistant Chris Crutchfield said of Hield’s infectious smile and attitude. “We knew that when we were recruiting him, that his personality, his demeanor, was so good. … He’s a people guy, a team guy, a perfect fit. That was part of our attraction, that smile. He was always happy. He never had a frown on his face. He was always exuberant, always had energy.”

Hield also has an off-the-charts work ethic that rubbed off on teammates. When Hield signed with Oklahoma after two seasons at Sunrise Christian, Lindsted told Sooners coaches they were not going to believe how much time Hield spent in the gym.

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NCAAB All American Team


Written by Nicole Auerbach at USAToday.com

Fourteen schools, four classes and six conferences are represented on the 2016 USA TODAY Sports men’s college basketball All-America teams. Nearly all of them will have the chance to lead their teams to a run in the NCAA tournament.

The teams, with players listed in alphabetical order:

First team

Buddy Hield, Sr., G, Oklahoma — An efficient scorer from nearly any spot on the court, Hield was the nation’s best pure shooter and most terrifying deep threat. The Big 12 Player of the Year dazzled even in defeat; his 46 points in a triple-overtime loss at Kansas was the singular performance of the season. Hield was the nation’s second-leading scorer, averaging 25.1 ppg, but the most impressive stat is this: Last season, Hield shot 35.9% from beyond the arc; this year, he shot an eye-popping 47.3%.

Brice Johnson, Sr., F, North Carolina — Johnson had shown flashes of this throughout his first three years with the Tar Heels. The talent was always there; consistency was the question. Johnson put it all together night in and night out this season, making himself one of the country’s most improved players and its most dominant. He led the ACC in rebounding, field goal percentage and double-doubles (19 total, 12 in league play). He averaged a double-double (16.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg) throughout the regular season and anchored one of the nation’s most consistent teams during a wild year.

Jakob Poeltl, So., F, Utah — Poeltl’s decision to bypass the NBA this past offseason was one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises for college basketball fans. The Austrian 7-footer is the most dominant player in the Pac-12, and one of the nation’s most dominant big men in general. He’s nearly doubled his output from last season, averaging 17.5 points to go along with 9.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. The future NBA lottery pick carried Utah to a second-place finish in the Pac-12 regular season, and can perhaps carry the Utes deep into March.

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Kansas Stuns Oklahoma

Written by Cliff Brunt at ABCsports.com

Devonte’ Graham scored a career-high 27 points and did a tenacious job defending Buddy Hield to help No. 6 Kansas defeat No. 3 Oklahoma 76-72 on Saturday.

Graham made 6 of 9 3-point attempts for the Jayhawks (21-4, 9-3 Big 12), who swept the regular-season series. Kansas won the first meeting 109-106 in triple overtime on Jan. 4.

Hield, who scored 46 points in the first meeting, scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half for Oklahoma. Isaiah Cousins added 21 points for the Sooners (20-4, 8-4), who fell out of a tie for the conference lead.

It was Kansas’ fifth straight win, and it snapped Oklahoma’s 19-game home winning streak. Kansas was coming off a win over No. 10 West Virginia on Tuesday.

Oklahoma matched a season-low by shooting 33.3 percent from the field. The Sooners, who entered the game leading the nation in 3-point percentage, made just 10 of 32 from beyond the arc.

Oklahoma trailed 73-71 and called a timeout with 32.1 seconds remaining. Hield made the first of two free throws with 25.3 seconds to go, and Kansas rebounded the miss.

Graham made two free throws with 19 seconds to play to put Kansas up three. Oklahoma’s Cousins shot a quick 3-point attempt that missed, and Kansas’ Jamari Traylor made the second of two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to put it out of reach.

Kansas ran out to a 20-6 lead as the Sooners made just two of their first 19 shots. Hield didn’t score until 9:04 remained in the first half.

Perry Ellis committed his second foul with 4:51 left in the first half and went to the bench with the Jayhawks leading 32-19. Oklahoma closed the half on a 14-6 run to make it 38-33.

The Sooners shot just 26.7 percent from the field in the first half and made 2 of 13 3-point attempts, but they made 15 of 18 free throws.

Hield, the nation’s No. 2 scorer, was held without a field goal in the first half on 0-for-6 shooting, but he made all six free throws.

Kansas shot 53.6 percent in the first half but committed eight turnovers.

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