BREAKING: Boogie Cousins to New Orleans

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings made the move they swore they weren’t going to make in trading franchise player DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. The Pelicans will be shipping Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, their 2017 first round pick, and a future 2nd round pick in exchange for Boogie and Omri Casspi. Boogie will be teaming up with Anthony Davis to form one of the best front courts we have seen.

Boogie has been having a monster season in Sacramento, posting 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game so far this season. He and Davis are widely considered maybe the two best big men in the game, as Davis has posted a similarly impressive 27.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Questions may arise as to whether the two can co-exist, but with both having the ability to work in the post or step out to the three-point line, they should be able to find a way. One major key to this deal is that New Orleans did not need to give up point guard Jrue Holiday in the deal. Holiday, Davis, and Cousins will form one of the top “big 3’s” in the game today.

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Sacramento will be hoping Buddy Hield, last year’s lottery pick for the Pelicans, is able to live up to his potential. So far he has disappointed this season, and looks like he may never be better than a good role player. Tyreke Evans started his career in Sacramento, posting big numbers his first few seasons, before moving to New Orleans. Evans was a key contributor for New Orleans the last few years, but has struggled in his limited time this season. Langston Galloway is a nice young backup point guard. His potential may never be more than a reserve, but he is a young piece that can be used in the rebuilding of the Kings. Another big piece is this year’s first round pick, as this draft class is thought to be very promising. The Kings will have to hit on the pick they receive from the Pelicans to make this deal worth it. Omri Casspi is a reserve forward, who is not expected to have a huge impact on the Pelicans.

The Pelicans had been in the market for a center for weeks now. They were rumored to be working on a deal with the 76ers for Jahlil Okafor, but the 76ers were asking for too much in return. They were also rumored to be in discussions with the Pacers surrounding forward Paul George, but nothing came of it. The Lakers were also said to have interest in Cousins, though they thought the Kings were asking for too much in return.

Boogie is a free agent at the end of next year, so the Pelicans are betting big that they will be able to sign him once free agency hits. The prospect of playing alongside another superstar in Anthony Davis for years to come should be enticing for the big man, and he is from Alabama, which certainly helps the Pelicans chances. The Pelicans are just 2.5 games out of 8th place in the West, and this move will make them heavy favorites to secure the final playoff spot.

As the trade deadline draws closer, more deals are sure to happen. We’ll be sure to keep you updated throughout the week. We may not see any other deals with near the impact of this one, but there will surely be some trades in response. Stay tuned for more current sports stories. Don't forget to follow us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram @beyondthemetrics, and Twitter @byondthemetrics

NBA and NFL Player Comparisons

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, in honor of NBA All-Star weekend, we’re going to have a little fun. We’re going to be doing some cross-sport comparisons, comparing the current NBA All-Stars to current NFL players. This is all in fun, so we want to know what you think about the comparisons. Do you agree or disagree, and do you have any suggestions of your own? For the purposes of these comparisons, no quarterbacks were used, but if you have any comparisons to quarterbacks that you really like feel free to let us know. 

With all that said, let’s get started with the East All-Stars:

Jimmy Butler is David Johnson: A do it all player on a has been team, doing everything he can to keep them afloat but doesn’t have nearly enough help

LeBron James is Rob Gronkowski: The most impressive physical specimen in the league. You can’t stop him, you can only hope to slow him down

DeMar DeRozan is T.Y Hilton: An impressive offensive player who puts up monster numbers, but is not considered “elite” or one of the top couple at his position

Giannis Antekokounmpo is Landon Collins: Literally does everything well, flying all over the field/court making plays, but plays on a unit that underwhelms to some degree

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony is Frank Gore: An aging one trick pony who just keeps producing. Don’t ask Melo to play defense, don’t ask Gore to catch the ball, but put the ball in their hands and they’ll still get you yards/buckets consistently

Paul George is Jordy Nelson: Always a little underestimated, and ruled out after a devastating injury, only to come back better than ever to prove everyone wrong once again

Kyrie Irving is Dez Bryant: One of the most talented players at his position, and produces at the level of one of the best at times, but is a bit of a diva and needs a strong supporting cast in order to get any kind of production

Kevin Love is Jimmy Graham: Supremely talented offensive player but don’t ask Love to play defense and don’t ask Graham to block. Love is there to produce on offense and Graham is there to catch passes, no more, no less

Kyle Lowry is Lorenzo Alexander: Did anyone even know Alexander was still in the league before his 12.5 sacks this season? He bounced around the league and only had 9 sacks in his career leading up to this year. Kyle Lowry played for the Grizzlies and Rockets, remember that? It took him 9 years to make an all-star game, but never count him out

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Paul Millsap is Derrick Johnson: Reliable and steady, yet you might forget he’s even in the league sometimes. Johnson made 4 pro bowl, this is Millsap’s 4th all-star appearance. Both are quiet guys in small markets, so they are easily overlooked

Isaiah Thomas is Darren Sproles: Miniature sized and too slippery to stop, and one of the most dangerous players with the ball in their hands

Kemba Walker is Mark Ingram: Huge college success, nobody was sure what to think when they were coming out of college, and neither got off to a blazing start in their career. Here we are a few years later for each, and they are one of the more solid guys at their positions, not elite but above average

John Wall is Antonio Brown: Great athlete, one of the top players at the position, and a social media darling. Has a knack for saying or doing some questionable things, but the production on the court/field is never in question

Now for the West All-Stars:

Steph Curry is Sean Lee: What he lacks in physical gifts he makes up for with incredible IQ and superior skill. Some injuries early on led to being a bit of a late bloomer

James Harden is Le’Veon Bell: A patient, crafty, stat sheet stuffer supreme! Is there any offensive weapon in the game anything like either of these guys?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is AJ Green: The size, the speed, the athleticism, the precision, the unbelievable production, yet never quite considered THE best for some reason, and knows all too well about making the playoffs but never winning a championship

Kawhi Leonard is Malcolm Butler: Brought in to the most successful organization in recent years and brought along slowly, alongside some of the biggest stars in the game, until shining in the biggest possible moment and becoming their own star

Anthony Davis is Jadeveon Clowney: The superstar can’t miss #1 overall pick, who can’t seem to stay healthy for an entire season, but when healthy is one of the most dominant forces in the game

Russell Westbrook is Adrian Peterson: Maybe not current Peterson, but 2016-2017 Russell Westbrook is 2012 Adrian Peterson: A physical specimen like no other, a one man total wrecking crew that will single handedly will his team to the playoffs, carrying his team through a historic season, only to see an early exit because of a lack of help

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Klay Thompson is Emmanuel Sanders: Never the top gun on his own team but could be on a number of other teams in the league, yet is content to put up big numbers as a secondary option in the interest of winning

Gordon Hayward is Larry Fitzgerald: Loyal to a fault, quiet, and does everything well. Larry’s loyalty could cost him an opportunity to ever win a Super Bowl, Gordon’s loyalty is starting to pay off through better production in Utah, but they are far from competing with Golden State

Boogie Cousins is Odell Beckham Jr: One of the best talents in the entire game but is he worth the headache? If you are willing to accept the drama with the production, you’ll get some of the best production in the sport

Draymond Green is Aaron Donald: Undersized, often underappreciated, has a big mouth, but a total game wrecker on defense

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DeAndre Jordan is Jesse James: Okay this one seems a bit off because of the drastic difference in athleticism, but hear us out: both guys are there just to do the dirty work 90% of the time but is always there for the alley-oop

Marc Gasol is Greg Olsen: Like a fine wine just seems to get better with age, no major weakness in their games, and consistently one of the best at the position, yet spent most of their careers stuck on not quite good enough teams

Like we said, this is all in fun. I want to thank Christian Rinaldi for the idea and some of the comparisons. What do you think of the comparisons? Anything you think is completely wrong or completely right? What are some comparisons of your own? Comment and let us know! Stay tuned for more current sports stories. Don't forget to follow us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram @beyondthemetrics, and Twitter @byondthemetrics

Does Serge Make Toronto Contenders in the East?

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors have been struggling as of late, and have a huge hole at power forward. What did they do to address that issue? They traded for the best available power forward (assuming Paul Millsap is not available) in Serge Ibaka. In return, they had to give Orlando backup wing Terrance Ross, as well as a 1st round pick. What does this trade do for Toronto’s chances to compete in the eastern conference playoffs?

Every team that plans to compete in the playoffs has holes they would like to address around the trade deadline, but Toronto had perhaps the biggest gaping hole of any contender at power forward. This season, their only real power forward worth mentioning is Patrick Patterson, and he has been out due to injury lately. While Patterson is a generally underrated role player, he’s not exactly the guy that comes to mind at power forward when trying to build a contender. That said, this season Toronto has played like an elite team with him on the court, on par with the Warriors in point differential, while playing below average with him off the court, on par with the Timberwolves in point differential. Is this an indication that Patterson is that good of a player for this specific team? Or does that speak to how little they have to play at the 4 when he is off the court?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While Patterson has been out, Toronto has been reduced to playing true centers at power forward because they simply have no one else to put there. The returns have not been good. Simply in games that Toronto has played without Paterson, they are 8-8 this season. They are also 0-2 in the 2 games he left less than 10 minutes into the game due to injury. In all other games, they are 24-14, even with having nobody to back him up. Adding the Serge protector gives them a versatile player who can play both the 4 and 5, either in place of Patterson or alongside him based on matchup, who can space the floor (39% from 3), while giving them much needed rim protection (1.6 blocks per game).

As far as what Toronto gave up, Terrance Ross was a valuable “3 and D” type of reserve wing who provided solid offense, but was more 3 than D. While he was a key contributor in the Raptors rotation, he was a bit redundant with fellow wing Norman Powell. Powell is a similar “3 and D” type of player who so far this year has been more D than 3. While both are similar players, Powell is younger, cheaper, and has more upside for the next few years. Shedding Ross’s salary gives Toronto the ability to make a run at re-signing Ibaka when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. If one or the other had to go, Ross was the one that made more sense. Toronto also attached a 1st round pick to the deal, but their pick likely won’t be extremely valuable as it is likely to fall in the 20’s in the draft order. That is not to say a stud player can’t be drafted in the 20’s, but it is far less likely than early in the 1st round.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland is the obvious team to beat in the east if they are healthy, but they aren’t. Starting guard J.R Smith has been out much of the season, and while he is expected to return next month, he may need to shake off some rust going into the postseason. The big blow is the Kevin Love injury, which raises questions as to whether or not he’ll be ready for the playoffs. Assuming he is ready, Ibaka gives Toronto the perfect answer for Love. Toronto can play a number of different styles to match anything Cleveland throws at them now that they brought in Ibaka. Against the starters of Love and Thompson, Toronto can counter with Ibaka and Valanciunas. Against a floor stretching lineup of Love and Frye, Toronto can counter with Ibaka and Patterson. If Cleveland wants to go small and play Love at the 5 and LeBron at the 4, Toronto can counter with Ibaka at the 5 and DeMarre Carroll at the 4. The versatility of Ibaka will be key to defending anything Cleveland throws at them. The most important thing is that Toronto will now have 48 mins worth of quality players to play at power forward, when before they only had Patterson.

All that being said, Cleveland has to still be considered the team to beat in the east. They have won the east each of the last two years, and until they are knocked off they will remain the favorite. If Love can’t come back, things might get really interesting, but even if he does, Toronto is now better equipped to match up. Will Boston or Cleveland respond with a big move before the deadline? We’ll be on the lookout for that now.

What do you think? Can Toronto compete with Cleveland with or without Love? Comment and let us know! Stay tuned for more current sports stories. Don't forget to follow us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram @beyondthemetrics, and Twitter @byondthemetrics