Congratulations to the Sacramento Kings – How to mess up a basketball team 101

Sources: Kings agree to trade DeMarcus Cousins to Pelicans

DeMarcus Cousins played seven seasons with the Kings. (AP)

The Sacramento Kings, after promising DeMarcus Cousins privately and publicly that he wouldn’t be moved prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, agreed to trade the center to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night, league sources told The Vertical.

The Pelicans are sending guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, and 2017 first- and second-round picks to the Kings, league sources said, with forward Omri Casspi going to New Orleans.

The Kings were at significant risk of losing a 2017 top-10 protected pick to Chicago, and the trade now increases the chances they can hold on to it.

There are “mild” protections on the 2017 first-round pick from New Orleans, but the expectations are that the Kings will get to use it in this deep draft.

As much as anything, Sacramento wanted to build a culture free of Cousins, and in the end, it changed course on committing a five-year, $209 million designated maximum contract extension to him this summer.

In seven seasons with Sacramento, Cousins, 26, averaged 21.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.