DeMarcus Cousins is likely to return to the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Bleacher Report. The Pelicans are reportedly preparing a two-year, prove it deal to give to DeMarcus Cousins once NBA teams can openly negotiate with prospective free agents.
It is believed that DeMarcus Cousins will agree to the New Orleans Pelicans’ terms as soon as he can, unless he receives a far better offer elsewhere. If DeMarcus Cousins accepts the Pelicans’ offer he will continue to build chemistry with his Pelicans’ teammates, namely Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, and Jrue Holiday.
Furthering the rapport between DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis while building a basketball kinship with Nikola Mirotic is paramount to building a championship contender. Mirotic was the Pelicans’ trade addition from last February (courtesy of NBA.com). The Pelicans added Mirotic after Cousins was lost for the season with an Achilles tear, according to ESPN.
A frontcourt combination of Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic helped the New Orleans Pelicans advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Combined with excellent play from their guards, the Pelicans had a team capable of pushing the Golden State Warriors. That was without a healthy DeMarcus Cousins. Having a healthy Cousins could have made a huge difference.
DeMarcus Cousins’ presence was felt immediately when he joined the Pelicans via a trade near the 2017 NBA trade deadline (courtesy of USA Today). However, he has not played with Nikola Mirotic.
One of the biggest weaknesses the New Orleans Pelicans had last season was at small forward. Nikola Mirotic can play some at that position, allowing the Pelicans to go with an uncommonly big lineup once DeMarcus Cousins returns.
If the rumors have provided any indication, Cousins will indeed return to the Pelicans, nevertheless, there will be other teams lurking. One of those teams could be the Los Angeles Lakers.
The all-star center is one of the least talked about NBA free agents this summer. Much of the reason for DeMarcus Cousins is receiving has to do with him tearing his Achilles in January.
When DeMarcus Cousins was healthy, he was arguably the best center in the NBA. Prior to his injury, there were several NBA rumors circulating about his pending free agency status. Now that he is recovering from a torn Achilles, DeMarcus Cousins’ contractual status could turn one of the NBA’s best bargains.
Questions remain for DeMarcus Cousins going forward. One of the concerns regarding Cousins’ future is his explosiveness post-Achilles surgery. Cousins had a balanced game on offense where his jump shot has a high release that does not require a huge lift from him. He will not be required to dunk often, which is a good thing. On the defensive end is where trouble might lie.
DeMarcus Cousins has never received the credit he deserves as a defender. His lift allowed him to be one of the best shot blockers in the NBA. Thankfully for the New Orleans Pelicans, they have Anthony Davis on hand. Davis would be able to absorb Cousins’ miscues.