DeMarcus Cousins is still recovering from a torn left Achilles he suffered in January, but the All-Star center, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has been documenting certain aspects of his rehabilitation process on social media and appears to be fully embracing the challenge, reports William Guillory of The Times-Picayune.
According to Pelicans’ general manager Dell Demps, Cousins has been working out in Las Vegas and hasn’t experienced any setbacks during his recovery, with the big man’s desire to get back on the court as strong as ever.
“He’s right on schedule. He’s right where he’s supposed to be (and) he’s committed to getting back and ready to play.”
That being said, it remains to be seen whether the Pelicans will be able and/or willing to sign Cousins to a new contract this summer, with the Mavericks being one of many teams who will likely have interest in Cousins’ services going forward.
As Guillory notes, New Orleans was once poised to offer Cousins a five-year maximum-salary contract this summer. However, a story from ESPN’s Zach Lowe in April reported that the Pelicans were now considering the idea of offering Cousins a shorter deal at less than the max because of the uncertain future that often accompanies an Achilles injury.
Despite that report, Demps continues to reiterate that the team wants Cousins back in New Orleans, telling reporters that Cousins has been a big part of the Pelicans’ success and that he hopes the team is able to being Cousins back next season.
There’s more from New Orleans:
- In the same article, Guillory also touches upon the upcoming free agency of point guard Rajon Rondo, who like Cousins, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Pelicans are planning to enter into negotiations on a new deal with Rondo, per Demps, who notes that “in a perfect world,” both Cousins and Rondo would be back in New Orleans next season.
- With their only selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Pelicans selected Penn State guard Tony Carr with the No. 51 overall pick. Carr, 20, averaged 19.6 points and five assists per game for the Nittany Lions last season, but his role for New Orleans next season is still up in the air. Per Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com, Demps has already expressed that Carr will need to compete for a roster spot as a rookie
- In another story for The Times-Picayune, Guillory writes that the Pelicans are emphasizing stability with their coaching staff this offseason, with the front office recently denying a request from Toronto to hire away assistant coach Chris Finch.
- Per Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, the Pelicans’ front office scouting department has been retained with two-year extensions.