In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols over All-Star weekend, Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis shared what he thought of the Pelicans’ ceiling before teammate DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“We could have gone through the playoffs. No one could really stop us as bigs. We go to the Finals if we went,” Davis told Nichols. “[Teammate Rajon Rondo] reminds us of it: ‘You guys are the two best bigs. I know what it takes to win championships; we got it.'”
Before Cousins’ injury, Davis and he were on pace to become the first teammates ever to each average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game for a season. Moreover, New Orleans was in sixth place in the West and climbing in the standings and Cousins was averaging MVP-caliber numbers.
Cousins will be a free agent this summer, so it’s interesting to wonder whether Davis genuinely believes the Pelicans could have realistically competed for a title this season or if he was just flattering Cousins as a recruiting tactic.
Davis is under contract with New Orleans through the 2020/21 season, but says that hearing former players such as Kevin Garnett express regret about not asking sooner for a trade to a more competitive franchise has made him think.
“It makes you think, ’cause you’re wondering if you’re following in that same path,” he said. “But then again, you’re like, ‘This year could be the year.’ So, just got to take it year by year and just see, and see where the team is going, what direction they want to go to and just see where their head is.”