Latest On DeMarcus Cousins

With the Pelicans thriving so far in the postseason without DeMarcus Cousins, ESPN’s Zach Lowe is the latest to look ahead to the big man’s upcoming free agency, exploring just how hard New Orleans will push to re-sign him. While there was once a consensus around the NBA that the small-market Pelicans, not wanting to let Cousins get away, would put a max deal on the table even after his Achilles injury, that’s far less certain now, Lowe writes.

Here are a few updates and notes from Lowe on what could be one of this offseason’s most interesting free agencies:

  • The Pelicans have internally discussed the possibility of offering Cousins a two- or three-year contract worth less than the max, sources tell Lowe. The ESPN.com scribe doesn’t think that sort of offer would go over well with Cousins’ camp, but notes that New Orleans has a good amount of leverage, given the veteran center’s health — not to mention the lack of teams around the NBA with sizable cap room.
  • Sources tell Lowe that most of the teams with max-level cap space aren’t expected to pursue Cousins. Some clubs are worried about his “baggage,” and he wouldn’t make much sense for a rebuilding team, since it will likely take him a full season to recover from his Achilles tear.
  • Lowe identifies the Lakers and Mavericks as two wild cards for Cousins. However, he notes that the Lakers could use their cap room to land other stars or roll it over to 2019. As for the Mavs, if they go hard after a restricted free agent like Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon, they probably wouldn’t be in the mix for Cousins.
  • The Wizards, Trail Blazers, Clippers, Raptors, Bucks, and Heat are a few of the teams Lowe mentions as possible landing spots if the Pelicans want to sign-and-trade Cousins, but he acknowledges that none would be a perfect match — and some are extreme long shots.
  • With a four- or five-year max offer for Cousins seemingly unlikely, Lowe speculates that a third year could be the “inflection point” in the bidding for the All-Star big man. If one team is willing to do a fully or partially guaranteed third year, while another club wants to do a deal more like Paul Millsap‘s with the Nuggets (where the third year is a team option), that could be the difference, Lowe writes.
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18 thoughts on “Latest On DeMarcus Cousins

  1. Dionis

    Washington would be ideal. Come to the East and team up with Wall, the Wizards would be a top 3 seed next season with a lineup of

    Wall-Beal-Otto-Morris-Cousins

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    • Dionis

      Whoops forgot Beal and Porter have insane contracts, might have to move one.

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      • hiflew

        One of them could probably be the return in a sign and trade. Probably Porter.

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        • Dionis

          Porter would fit in seamlessly with the Pelicans. With Mirotic,Davis, and Porter they would have a front-court of floor spacers. That would be 4 shooters 3 shooters on the floor for AD in Mirotic,Porter, and Holiday. I don’t see why the Pels want to re-sign Davis, they play better without him.

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          • Connorsoxfan

            I hadn’t thought about that, but it makes a ton of sense.

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    • brewcrew08

      No way they can afford Cousins on max if they keep Beal Wall and Otto.

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  2. hiflew

    A sign and trade with Portland for CJ McCollum would probably the best return for the Hornets and might be best for the Blazers as well.

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      • hiflew

        No clue, although I did screw up Pelicans with Hornets.

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    • Dionis

      I wouldn’t break up that Holiday-Rondo tandem to bring in CJ.

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          • hiflew

            But it might not be by New Orleans. Rondo is in the journeyman stage of his career. That typically means one year in a place, then move on. Too old to keep around, too young to retire, too talented to stay unemployed, not talented enough to be a key piece of the puzzle.

            That’s not meant as an insult, because I am a big Rondo fan. But it is what it is.

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  3. Z-A

    This probably is a situation the Lakers can capitalize on. Mainly b/c they aren’t contending next year, so next year doesn’t matter with Cousins being sidelined for a year. You basically pay the 1 year toll to get him for 3 seasons. I’m sure you can figure out a way to get him for 4 years, like front loading the contract Robert Covington style. Tank 1 more year get a high draft pick. Dump or stretch Deng. You roll with Cousins, Kuzma, Ingram, Hart, Ball + whomever they are able to sign in 2019. As it stands, no one is going to sign with the Laker’s next year. They are too far away from contending, but the line-up above is attractive to a ’19 FA.

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  4. kenly0

    I’ve always thought that the Wizards are the only team that he might choose over the Pels. But, they can’t afford him along with Wall, Beal, and Porter. As a Pels fan. I hope that they keep Cousins. But, a sign and trade might not be a terrible idea. Something like Cousins and Hill for Porter and Gortat. Wizards lineup of Wall, Beal, Oubre, Morris, and Cousins. Pels lineup of Rondo, Jrue, Porter, AD, and Gortat. Or, Rondo, Jrue, Porter, Mirotic, and AD. I think it’s a win win for both teams.

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  5. camdenyards46

    Sign and trade for Otto Porter. The Wizards need a big and the Pelicans need a wing. And Wall and Cousins both went to Kentucky.

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