NBA Rumors: Pelicans Could Explore Early DeMarcus Cousins Trade After League Moved Up Deadline

The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the NBA teams who will be affected by the league’s new trade deadline. DeMarcus Cousins, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, has not given any assurance that he will return to New Orleans. Their performance in the 2017-18 NBA season will play a major role in their plan to move “Boogie” or not.

However, New Orleans will need to make the decision earlier after the NBA announced major changes. According to Danny Leroux of Sporting News, the league moved up the trade deadline to February 8 while also spreading out the season by starting earlier. This will have a huge effect on teams who are planning to further improve their roster or trade superstars to start a rebuild.

“If we use a similar one-week decision window that was previously the All-Star break, this season teams will be choosing their path around Feb. 1. That meaningfully shifts the balance of the schedule and increases the uncertainty front offices will have to contend with. Instead of 56 played games and 26 to go, it will be closer to 50 played and 32 to go.”

The Pelicans entered the 2017-18 NBA season with the goal of earning a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference. If they find themselves out of playoff contention before the All-Star break, the Pelicans are expected to trade DeMarcus Cousins. If “Boogie” won’t commit to re-signing with the Pelicans, moving him before the trade deadline will be the best option than letting walk away in free agency without getting anything in return.

null

However, with the new trade deadline, the Pelicans will be needing to make an early decision. Once DeMarcus Cousins becomes available on the trade market, several NBA teams, especially title contenders, will surely find a way to add him to their team. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who currently own the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, have long been interested in trading for Cousins.

As of now, the Pelicans are doing their best to improve their standing in the competitive Western Conference. They are currently in the seventh spot with a 9-8 win-loss record. Unlike last season, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are finally showing good chemistry, posting double-double performances almost every night.

However, injuries and on-court issues prevent Davis and Cousins from unleashing the full potential of their frontcourt tandem. As most people think, the Pelicans need both big men to compete against powerhouse teams in the league. Showing their ability to compete against any NBA team and securing a playoff spot this season are the only things that can convince Cousins to spend the rest of his NBA career in New Orleans.

[Featured Image Chris Graythen/Getty Images]