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DeMarcus Cousins trade won’t help Malachi Richardson’s future with Kings

If the deal wasn’t bad enough already...

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Sacramento Kings agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans for a laundry list of players. Prevailing opinion is that Sacramento was fleeced in the deal, though it also means they’re all in on a rebuild now.

That would sound like a good thing for former Syracuse Orange star Malachi Richardson, if not for what the Kings received in return.

In dealing Cousins (and small forward Omri Casspi), Sacramento received Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans. The latter two are experienced wings. The former is coveted by Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who thinks he’s the next Steph Curry.

Adding those three to the Kings’ depth chart, it’s easy to see the problems for Richardson’s growth with this organization. Aaron Afflalo and Ben McLemore sat in front of him at the shooting guard position before. Now you add three more names there, some of which will be shuffled to small forward to back up Rudy Gay. All of them have more playing time in the NBA than Malachi, who’s appeared in 22 games but is now nursing a partially torn hamstring for the next month and change.

The Kings do no favors to young players, and Richardson could be the latest to fail to get a shot there. One-time Syracuse shooter Donte Greene suffered a similar fate in Sacramento after being traded there following the NBA Summer League in 2008.

It’s a frustrating turn of events for Malachi in a season full of back-and-forth trips from Reno (where the Kings’ D-League affiliate plays) and now the recent hamstring injury. With more draft picks coming Sacramento’s way via this trade, now might be a good time for him to be able to restart elsewhere to have an opportunity to succeed at the NBA level.