The NBA season is halfway over which means it was time for the NBA All Star Game. This year’s festivities took place down in New Orleans.
The event began on Friday night with the Rising Stars challenge which features some of the young, up and coming players in the NBA. The World Team took on the US team and Denver Nuggets rookie guard Jamal Murray took home the MVP for his performance in the contest.
Saturday night’s festivities kicked off with the skills challenge in which the bracket was split up between bigs and smalls. In the end, it was the Utah Jazz forward Gordan Hayward against the New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis ended up taking home the trophy.
The biggest draw of the weekend is usually the dunk contest, but the days of Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Vince Carter are over. Aside from a few noteworthy dunks, the contest was described by many as a “snoozefest”. In the end, Glenn Robinson III was the dunk contest champion after throwing down a nasty reverse dunk while jumping over a few people.
The same night, reigning 3-point champion Klay Thompson of the Warriors was dethroned by guard Eric Gordon from the Houston Rockets.
Fast forward to Sunday night and it was time for the All Star Game. This game is known for its lack of defense and yet again, that was the case. Pelicans forward Anthony Davis broke the All Star Game points record, previously held by Wilt Chamberlain, by scoring 52 points, beating the previous record by 10 points. Davis was awarded the All Star Game MVP after the game was over, in his home city no less, but that was only the beginning of an excellent night for Davis.
Under an hour after the final buzzer at the All Star Game, word broke that the Sacramento Kings had come to terms on a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to send big man and fellow All Star DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Big Easy in exchange for rookie sharpshooter Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Gallaway, a 2017 first round pick and a 2017 second round pick. With the trade deadline just around the corner, this was a megadeal many NBA fans have been waiting to see.
Only time will tell who ends up winning this trade. Cousins has always had a tumultuous relationship with management in Sacramento, but it remains to be seen how will he and Anthony Davis play together. On paper it’s the most dangerous frontcourt in the league.
As for the Kings, it’s apparent that they’re going into full rebuild mode. The team thinks very highly of guard Buddy Hield, but other than that, every other player on the Kings roster is considered expendable at this point.
The Kings are going to need a lot of help. As it stands, the Philadelphia 76ers currently own the right to swap picks with the Kings so if Sacramento falls off in a big way after this trade and were to win the #1 overall pick in the lottery, the 76ers would be able to switch and take ownership of the pick. The 76ers also own the Kings 2019 pick.
All in all, it was a very eventful All Star Weekend and the NBA will be back this week. The NBA trade deadline is currently set for Thursday at 3 pm.