The Sacramento Kings lost one of their key players from the past few seasons in Tyreke Evans via free agency. However, the Kings were able to work out a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, the team that landed Evans, for a sign-and-trade that sent Robin Lopez and point guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings.
Lopez will help give Sacramento’s frontcourt some solid depth, but Vasquez is the much bigger prized from that deal. With New Orleans last season, Vasquez really had a breakout season, averaging 13.9 points, nine assists and 0.8 steals per game in 34.4 minutes per game. For a young team last season, he was able to provide stability and facilitating to their offense.
Adding a player like that to the Kings is a huge positive for Sacramento. Though the Kings were able to put up points at a solid rate last season, a lot of their offense was run through isolation sets, on the perimeter and in the post. Bringing in a player like Vasquez should give the Kings a more structured offense that will open up the floor for everyone else.
One of the biggest beneficiaries from the Vasquez trade will likely be the much-maligned, but supremely talented DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 boards and 2.7 assists per game last year on 46.5 percent shooting. However, a pretty astonishing 51 percent of his made field goals were unassisted, a high percentage for a post player.
With Vasquez running the show on the floor for the Kings, though, Cousins is likely going to see a spike in his efficiency and have a lot more assisted made field goals. Having a point guard that’s a great facilitator will give Cousins more space in the post and more open opportunities to put points on the board.
Though the Kings may have lost a player that they expected to be around for their future in Evans, they may actually come out for the better after the sign-and-trade. Vasquez will not only give them solid production, but he will also be an enormous help for the rest of the players on the Kings, Cousins in particular.