Reports of a trade that will send DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans have already sent major shockwaves through the NBA. Initially, pondering whether or not the Kings got fair value in return for the outgoing star may not appear to have any immediate impact on the Knicks. But alas, it sure does.
Following the deal, Langston Galloway will reportedly be waived and speculation is abound that Tyreke Evans could be let go as well. It would make sense if his expiring contract was merely included as a formality to make the deal work financially. With that in mind, the deal boils down to Buddy Hield, a top three protected 2017 first rounder and a second rounder for Cousins.
Could the Knicks have made a legitimate play at acquiring Cousins? It may not have been such a farfetched concept. Knowing now what the Kings ultimately settled for, offering a deal centered around Derrick Rose and New York's 2017 first round selection probably would have garnered consideration. Adding Willy Hernangomez certainly would have sweetened the pot. This would have meant the Knicks would have been left without two of their top valued future assets, but Cousins is arguably the best center in the NBA. Still just 26 years old, New York could have built a future around him in Kristaps Porzingis. His contract only runs through next season, but it makes sense for marquee players to re-sign in the Big Apple.
Acquiring Cousins would have meant the Knicks were continuing to lay down a future foundation. But even more so, reeling in a player of that caliber would have given this team a legitimate chance at competing with Carmelo Anthony still in town. Keeping Anthony past the deadline, while adding Cousins, would have given the organization a glimpse into what could be. Worst case scenario would have left the team seeking out trade partners for Anthony in the summer. That seems like a very possible outcome at this point anyway.
Moving on, it'll be interesting to see how the Cousins trade will impact the market heading into Thursday afternoon's deadline. If Sacramento was only able to get Hield and one first rounder for their star, what will that mean for New York's hopes of getting something worthwhile for Anthony?
There's also one more housekeeping nugget concerning the Knicks, as currently constructed. Should Galloway be waived as expected, could a New York reunion come soon after? The Knicks let him walk last summer following a big payday from his hometown team. Still, he represented a truly organically grown prospect of theirs for two seasons prior. New York is still in desperate need of another combo and/or point guard. Much like Derrick Williams, Galloway was a rare bright spot during his time with the Knicks. Williams has gone on to thrive with Cleveland after brief consideration of a return to the guys in orange and blue, following a recent release of his own. New York would be smart to make an even more aggressive push at Galloway. He's averaging 8.6 points and 37% shooting from deep this season.
In any event, it'll be interesting to see if this blockbuster serves as a domino effect for anything surrounding the Knicks in the near future.