New Orleans Pelicans superstar DeMarcus Cousins is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason. Before he suffered a season-ending injury in late January, the Pelicans looked determined in giving Cousins a maximum contract. However, everything changed when he injured his left Achilles, and the success of the Anthony Davis-Nikola Mirotic frontcourt duo could make the Pelicans decide to let Cousins walk away in free agency.
Most people believe that a player who suffers the same injury as DeMarcus Cousins has only a little chance of returning to their former game, which could be one of the major reasons why the Pelicans are no longer interested in giving him a huge payday. However, there are still some NBA teams who view Cousins as a valuable piece, and according to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype, the San Antonio Spurs could go after the All-Star center in the upcoming free agency.
As Urbina noted, the Spurs are known for their expertise in handling players who come off injuries or are already past their primes. The Spurs could not only help Cousins regain his rhythm and confidence, but they could also keep him competitive like Tim Duncan and David Robinson when he’s already in his late 30s.
However, in order to give DeMarcus Cousins a decent offer, the Spurs will need to make a little sacrifice. Letting Tony Parker join another team as an unrestricted free agent will give the Spurs the capability to sign Cousins to a two-year, $40 million contract.
“Financially, though at first glance it would appear that San Antonio doesn’t have room for Cousins on their books, they could create enough to make the big man a competitive offer if club legend Tony Parker, who saw his role diminish last season to 13 minutes nightly in the playoffs, signs elsewhere this summer. That would leave them with approximately $24.3 million in cap space, enough to offer Cousins a two-year, $40 million deal.”
DeMarcus Cousins will undeniably be a great addition to the Spurs, giving them a major boost on both ends of the floor. In 48 games last season, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. There is no doubt that Coach Gregg Popovich can easily learn how to make him fit with the team and maximize his effectiveness on the court.
Successfully acquiring Cousins in free agency could help the Spurs in convincing Kawhi Leonard to sign a massive extension. Leonard will surely love the idea of playing alongside another All-Star, as it will strengthen their chance of ruling the Western Conference next season.