DeMarcus Cousins didn’t re-sign with the Pelicans when he reached free agency four months ago, but Anthony Davis remains hopeful that his old frontcourt partner will return to New Orleans at some point down the road, he said on Thursday.
“He will be a free agent next year,” Davis said of Cousins, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “Hopefully, down the line we can reconnect.”
As Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted this week, Cousins’ one-year deal with Golden State seems unlikely to lead to a longer-term arrangement, given the team’s cap limitations. However, the Pelicans would face challenges of their own if they want to bring back Cousins. New Orleans could theoretically create enough cap room to make an offer to the big man during 2019’s free agent period, but that would probably mean allowing both Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic to depart, unless Cousins is willing to take another discount.
There may be other roadblocks in the way of a reunion between the Pelicans and Cousins, who was bothered by having not received a formal offer from GM Dell Demps this past July. That relationship is in need of repair, sources tell ESPN. Still, Demps told Spears that he’s rooting for Cousins, while head coach Alvin Gentry referred to the ex-Pelican as “the best player at his position in the league.”
Of course, if Cousins were to consider returning to New Orleans, he’d certainly want assurances that Davis would be sticking around as well. The Pelicans’ All-NBA big man is under contract through 2019/20 and sounds committed to staying with the team at least through that season, if not longer.
“I got two years to ’20/21. I’m here and whatever happens after that happens,” Davis told Spears. “For me, right now it is about being the most dominant player in the league and helping this team win. … You hear all the rumors. You hear all the talk. But it’s not coming from me. I’m here to be a Pelican, help this team move forward and help this team win a championship.”