With the Pelicans’ continuous success in the playoffs, the future of DeMarcus Cousins, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, in New Orleans becomes uncertain. Zach Lowe of ESPN reported that the Pelicans are only planning to offer Cousins a two- or three-year deal less than the max, giving opposing teams the opportunity to steal him by presenting a more attractive deal. Should the Washington Wizards be interested in adding Cousins to their team?
The “Boogie to DC” rumors have been one of the NBA rumors surfacing in the league in the past offseasons. Before Sacramento Kings traded him to the Pelicans, DeMarcus Cousins talked about playing together with John Wall, his former Kentucky teammate, in one team. In his own podcast, Portland Trail Blazers superstar C.J. McCollum predicted that the Cousins-Wall reunion will be happening this summer.
“There is a case the Boogie will jump into the market as a free agent and be a very hot commodity and could potentially team up with the Washington Wizards.”
McCollum and Jordan Schulz of Yahoo Sports discussed how the Pelicans found success even without DeMarcus Cousins on their roster. With Anthony Davis playing at 5 and Nikola Mirotic as starting power forward, the Pelicans swept McCollum and the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. If they defeat or at least give a good fight against the Golden State Warriors in the second round, the Pelicans may think that they are better off without Cousins on their team.
If the Pelicans will let him walk away, the Wizards would be foolish not to make a move. Washington has never been an attractive free agency destination for superstars, but the idea of reuniting with John Wall could be enough to convince Cousins to sign with the Wizards. Unfortunately, being buried deep in the luxury tax hell, the only way the Wizards could acquire Cousins from the Pelicans is via a sign-and-trade deal or if he will agree to sign a veteran minimum deal, according to SB Nation‘s Bullets Forever.
Signing a minimum deal, even if it means playing alongside Wall, is highly unlikely for Cousins. Instead of heading to the Wizards, Cousins will surely choose to accept the potential deal that the Pelicans could offer. The sign-and-trade may look more convincing as it would enable the Wizards to give him a better contract. However, they will be needing to give up precious assets like Otto Porter Jr. or Bradley Beal to convince the Pelicans to make a deal.