Rumors and speculations continue to heat up as the February 8 NBA trade deadline approaches. One of the superstars recently involved in the trade rumors is New Orleans Pelicans center/power forward DeMarcus Cousins. According to the latest report, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry privately discussed trading his “second-best player.”
The Pelicans entered the 2017-18 NBA season with the goal of returning to the Western Conference Playoffs. As of now, they reside in the 6th spot with a 26-21 record, thanks to the explosive frontcourt duo of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Since the offseason, rumors are circulating that the Pelicans may consider moving Cousins before the February 8 trade deadline.
Per Sportrac, “Boogie” is in the final year of the four-year, $65.19 million deal he signed with the Sacramento Kings where he can test the free agency market next summer. As most people think, it’s best for the Pelicans to move Cousins now than lose him in the free agency without getting anything in return. Earlier this month, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that New Orleans isn’t inviting trade offers for Cousins and wants to re-sign him next offseason.
However, according to Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News, DeMarcus Cousins’ “disrespectful” treatment of coaches and teammates, along with his on-court issues, made Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry think of moving him before the February 8 trade deadline.
“During his Pelicans tenure, Cousins hasn’t had the explosive tirades we saw during his time in Sacramento. But he still has some bully in him when it comes to his “disrespectful” treatment of coaches and teammates, sources told Sporting News. Those, along with his notable playing deficiencies, have moved coach Alvin Gentry to privately talk of wanting to trade his second-best player, next to Anthony Davis.”
Coach Alvin Gentry denied the rumors that he wanted to trade DeMarcus Cousins. Gentry believes Cousins and Anthony Davis are starting to show good chemistry, and his team is finally learning how to consistently win games. However, he thinks that the Pelicans should continue growing in order to strengthen their chance of dominating the Western Conference this season.
As Lawrence noted, the 2017-18 NBA season will determine if Gentry will remain as the Pelicans head coach or not. Entering the playoffs may convince New Orleans to give him an extension. However, an early elimination won’t guarantee that Gentry could save his job.
Recalling in 2015, the Pelicans managed to return to the playoffs but were swept by the Golden State Warriors in the first round. This made them decide to fire then-head coach Monty Williams. An NBA executive believes the same thing might happen to Gentry if the Pelicans fail to at least advance in the second round of the playoffs this season.