Multiple Reasons DeMarcus Cousins Was Traded to Pelicans Reportedly Revealed

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings handles the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 14, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

For the Sacramento Kings, a bad attitude is apparently worth trading away one of the best players in the NBA.

The team announced a deal Monday that sent three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans along with Omri Casspi for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and two draft picks.

Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher provided some insight as to what helped cause the move:

As general manager Vlade Divac noted in the release, "Winning begins with culture and character matters."

Per ESPN.com, Cousins has 19 technical fouls this season, which is already a career high for a player who had at least 12 in each of his seven years in the league. He has earned four disqualifications this year and 46 over his career, plus 11 total ejections.

Fines and suspensions have also been an issue, with the league holding him out of a game as recently as early February.

Kings announcer Grant Napear added to the list of character concerns:

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Despite these question marks, Cousins remains an elite player on the court. He is in the midst of the best statistical season of his career, ranking fourth in the NBA with an average of 27.8 points per game. He is also averaging 10.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 35.4 percent from three-point range.

Divac admitted he had a "better deal two days ago," per ESPN.com, but ended up pulling the trigger on the trade following the All-Star Game.

While Hield himself was ejected from a game against the Kings for a below-the-belt hit on Cousins, Sacramento seems to be hoping this culture change can lead to more success going forward.