NBA Trade Rumors: Has DeMarcus Cousins Taken Over The New Orleans Pelicans From Anthony Davis? [Opinion]

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They say that it takes more than one superstar to win a championship. And while that might be true, it also depends on who your main star is. For the New Orleans Pelicans, it’s Anthony Davis — or is it? Throughout his career, Davis has been the face of the Pelicans, but this year not so much. It’s a bold statement to make, but the power of the team has shifted to DeMarcus Cousins.

While the NBA Rumor mill has flipped upside down about the possibility of Cousins leaving at the NBA trade deadline, it’s a real possibility that Davis could, in fact, be the one who’s moved. Yes, it sounds a bit outlandish, but think for a minute how teams are set up and why the NBA is run by businessmen and not fans.

Fans are loyal to players just as much as they are to teams, and to think that a fan would ship Davis out-of-town over Cousins seems crazy, but a smart owner would. Davis is a top player in the league and possibly the best power forward in the NBA. However, he’s been hobbled the last two seasons, and with the amount of cash he’s making ($25 million per), the Pelicans may want to look elsewhere for the type of production they’re getting. Not saying that Davis has not put up All-Star numbers, but they have yet to translate to not only wins but playoff appearances.

Since Davis joined the team in 2012, the Pelicans have made just one playoff appearance. However, Cousins has not fared any better during his time with the Sacramento Kings either. When comparing the two, it would seem that Davis would get the nod, but looking deeper, Cousins appears to be the keeper. This season, Davis has averaged 25.2 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Cousins, however, has averages of 25.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Similar numbers, however, when placed on the trade block, Davis will fetch the better package.

Cousins is known throughout the NBA as a hot heat and that surely will knock his stock down some. But, if the Pelicans must let one go and want a better return to build around, then Davis would be the guy to ship out. One of the biggest rumors, according to NESN is that Davis could be shipped to the Boston Celtics for players and draft picks and that should bode will for the Pelicans. Think about a package that could include Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and that infamous 2018 first round pick they received from the Philadelphia 76ers this year. However, there could be so many more deals with a player of Davis’ stature.

Cousins May Be The Smarter Choice

Cousins will be a free agent after this season, and he will look for a payday around the same money that Davis is currently making. This will put the Pelicans in a tight spot. They cannot afford to pay three players over $25 million per year (Jrue Holiday) and still expect to field a playoff caliber team in such a small market. Sorry, but it’s not happening.

While Davis is three years younger than Cousins, he does not have what the team needs to succeed. While Cousins does indeed wear his emotions on his sleeve, he’s Dennis Rodman with an offensive game. Every team needs a player like Cousins. He’s the one who will put you on his back and the one who will defend your back. Davis is not meant to carry a team. With his skill set, you would think otherwise, but some players are great players and others are great players and leaders. Davis is just a great player. If I was a betting man, I would bet that Davis is the one who’s moved this season and Cousins becomes the cornerstone of the Pelicans.