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Should the Miami Heat trade Hassan Whiteside for DeMarcus Cousins?

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All-Stars don’t always guarantee championships, as the Thunder and Pelicans are showing this season.

Sacramento Kings 2010 Draft Picks Press Conference Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

One of the names mentioned in trade talks for the Miami Heat before the Feb. 8 deadline is Hassan Whiteside’s former teammate DeMarcus Cousins. Ironically they were both selected by the Sacramento Kings in the 2010 draft, played two seasons together, and Keith Smart was the head coach in their second season.

Cousins fills the stat sheets in more ways than one: he leads the NBA in total personal fouls and turnovers. Note: A/T is assist/turnover ratio, PF is Personal Fouls, P/M is total Plus/Minus for season.

NBA Totals

PLAYER AST TOV A/T PF P/M
PLAYER AST TOV A/T PF P/M
DeMarcus Cousins 201 198 1.02 149 26
Russell Westbrook 421 190 2.22 100 181
LeBron James 359 171 2.10 68 60
James Harden 318 154 2.06 94 258
Ben Simmons 276 147 1.88 106 45
Dwight Howard 57 126 0.45 129 59
Joel Embiid 98 118 0.83 103 202
Marc Gasol 160 118 1.36 98 -163

On the flip side, in players with over 1,000 minutes this season, Wayne Ellington committed the least fouls and second least turnovers. Besides his “golden arm,” Ellington doesn’t give other teams extra possessions with unforced errors.

Total Turnovers, Personal Fouls

PLAYER AST TO A/T PF P/M
PLAYER AST TO A/T PF P/M
Wayne Ellington 38 20 1.90 42 57
Jimmy Butler 213 84 2.54 49 285
Kemba Walker 213 74 2.88 50 132

Granted Ellington isn’t a high-usage guy, but he unloads the basketball before other teams can trap him with double-coverage and force a turnover. Notably the basketball doesn’t stick in his hands whenever he’s in the game. Wayne follows Bruce Lee’s advice of being like water in a hand: it slips between the fingers when squeezed.

“Don’t get set into one form ... be formless, shapeless—like water. You put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.”

Paul George has the tenth most turnovers, 114, and personal fouls, 120, in the NBA. While both Cousins and George are undeniably talented players, they seem prone to unforced mental errors during games.

In the Heat’s recent clutch wins, the team played mostly error-free basketball at the end, especially if a single point decides who wins or loses. Miami has a better win-loss percentage than both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans. Does it make sense to trade for players on teams with inferior records?