The Los Angeles Clippers made huge trades over the past several months, parting ways with former superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. As it appears, the Clippers are not entering a full rebuild, and are still looking to be relevant in the Western Conference in the next several seasons despite trading Griffin and Paul.
The Clippers are expected to try to bolster their roster in free agency this summer. Evan Massey of Hoops Habit tackled an interesting option for Los Angeles, saying that the Clippers should make a run at New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins, who will become a free agent in the offseason.
Before going down with an Achilles injury, Cousins averaged 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds on top of 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. He also shot 47 percent from the field, and knocked down 2.2 three-pointers per game. Massey said that Cousins will be a perfect replacement for Griffin.
Massey pointed out that Cousins can co-exist with DeAndre Jordan because he can stretch the floor for the Clippers. The former Kentucky standout could also be their main option inside the paint, considering the fact that Jordan does not need the basketball in his hands a lot to be effective.
There will be question marks about Cousins’ health moving forward, considering the nature of his injury. His value might go down because of the durability concerns, which could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Clippers because it will likely put them in a good position to acquire the 27-year-old superstar.
If he becomes available for a discounted price, the Clippers can go after him without making other roster moves. And if they successfully convince Cousins to move to Los Angeles, Massey believes the Clippers can “get back into contention in the near future” despite moving on from Griffin and Paul.
However, acquiring Cousins will be easier said than done for the Clippers. The Pelicans are also expected make an aggressive pitch to keep the four-time All-Star in New Orleans. It is worth noting that the Pelicans will look to become a contender again in the Western Conference to keep franchise superstar Anthony Davis happy, and losing Cousins will not help them in any way.
Davis made it no secret that he wants the Pelicans to keep Cousins. The former first-overall pick told Marc Stein of New York Post on Wednesday that he will be “very involved” in convincing Cousins to stay with the Pelicans. Based on what he is hearing over the past several months, Davis is confident that his frontcourt partner will not leave this summer.
With an assist from my pal @shauntellowe … here's a sample from this week's @nytimes NBA newsletter in which @AntDavis23 discusses his determination to convince @boogiecousins to stay in New Orleans this summer: pic.twitter.com/7Nv1gX9FlI
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 7, 2018