This move comes as a result of the DeMarcus Cousins trade that was reported Sunday night, as the Kings will need to open a roster spot to take on the three players they're receiving from the Pelicans in the deal. Barnes has been playing 25 minutes per game in Sacramento this season, but is averaging just 7.6 points per game, which is his lowest total since the 2010-11 season. At 36 years old and after 13 seasons, Barnes is reaching the tail end of his NBA career, but he could still provide quality play and valuable veteran leadership for any team in the second half of the season.
Rather than signing O'Bryant for the rest of the season, the Nuggets elected to let the forward head back to the D-League ranks. O'Bryant, who suited up for the Northern Arizona Suns in the D-League All-Star Game, could get another look from an NBA team in the final two months of the season.
In a game where defense was essentially optional, Irving was able to have his way throughout the evening, leading the Eastern Conference in both assists and boards. The point guard is averaging a career-best 24.4 points per game on the season and doesn't figure to see his scoring take much of a hit after the break, especially with Kevin Love (knee) likely out until late March or early April.
The up-tempo, dunk-happy nature of the exhibition game played to the strengths of Antetokounmpo, whose speed and length made him a go-to finisher on fast breaks. It was an excellent All-Star debut for the 22-year-old, who will now turn his focus back to aiding the Bucks to a playoff berth. He's averaging career highs across the board this season with 23.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals in 35.4 minutes per game.
Durant didn't let his deteriorating off-court relationship with former teammate Russell Westbrook affect his performance in the exhibition, as the pair connected on an alley-oop dunk in the first quarter. The Warriors forward would go on to fill up the stat sheet, but he never had a serious case for MVP honors with Anthony Davis scoring a All-Star Game record 52 points.
Much was made prior to the All-Star Game about the frosty relationship between Kevin Durant and Westbrook, but the former teammates didn't let any friction between them affect their on-court performance. Westbrook, who was seeking his third straight All-Star Game MVP, would have normally had a worthy case for those honors, but Anthony Davis' 52-point outing ended Westbrook's bid.
Davis put on a show while playing on his home floor at the Smoothie King Center, establishing new All-Star Game records with 39 shot attempts and 52 points, the latter of which broke Wilt Chamberlain's previous record of 42 points, established in 1962. Perhaps the biggest news of the night for Davis occurred away from the court, as the Pelicans acquired fellow Western Conference All-Star DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings to bolster the frontline. While Davis' career-best numbers (27.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.2 assists per game) figure to take a hit with another high-usage player joining the frontcourt, the addition of Cousins should at least improve the Pelicans' chances of claiming a playoff spot.
Hield will head to Sacramento and join the Kings' backcourt in what is one of the biggest blockbuster deals in recent memory. The loss of Cousins means the Kings could yet again be in rebuilding mode, with the team now lacking a certified impact player. Hield joins a crowded Sacramento frontcourt that already comprises of Arron Afflalo, Ben McLemore, Garrett Temple, Ty Lawson and Darren Collison, so it will be interesting to see how he is utilized, especially with Tyreke Evans also joining the Kings' ranks. The rookie guard is currently averaging 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds on the season.
Evans has been struggling from the perimeter in New Orleans, so perhaps a change of scenery will do him some good. It is the second tour of duty for Evans in Sacto, as he spent his first four NBA seasons there, including a career-high 20.1 points in his rookie season of 2009-10. With Rudy Gay (Achilles) done for the season and DeMarcus Cousins going to New Orleans, Evans has a good chance of being one of the team's primary scoring options with a huge bump in fantasy appeal in the process.
Galloway had carved out a nice role for himself recently in New Orleans with Tyreke Evans (ankle) on the shelf and E'Twaun Moore (personal) sidelined. He will go with Evans and rookie Buddy Hield to Sacramento where he is likely to battle Arron Afflalo and Ben McLemore for playing time. This deal doesn't do a lot to help Galloway's fantasy appeal.