Multiple league sources say the Magic turned down the chance to deal Nikola Vucevic and either Evan Fournier or draft picks to the Kings for the contemptuous All-Star center earlier this season. Hennigan apparently was concerned about both his ability to re-sign Cousins this summer and building the franchise around yet another high-maintenance big man.
That report didn’t gain much traction, because the Kings kept insisting they wouldn’t trade Cousins. Of course, they dealt him to the Pelicans a few days later.
With the Magic firing general manager Rob Hennigan and assistant general manager Scott Perry today, that unearthed more information about Orlando-Sacramento trade talks.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
Sam Amick of USA Today:
The Pelicans taking a risk on Cousins made sense because their supporting cast around Anthony Davis was so crummy, there wasn’t much downside. The Magic’s lousy roster would have made a Cousins trade similarly logical.
Hennigan stuck with the “safe” route. Look where that got him.
Not trading for Cousins due to the fear of him walking in free agency next year is reasonable. Not trading for Cousins because he’s similar to Dwight Howard is not reasonable. Cousins should stand on his own merits.
Should Hennigan have made this trade? It’s impossible to say for certain without knowing all the particulars, but that his No. 2, Perry, found the terms acceptable is telling.