The New Orleans Pelicans were hit with the worst news since their existence. DeMarcus Cousins is out for the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles Friday night against the Houston Rockets. The Pelicans were finally turning their season and franchise around and then this happens. But the huge questions is, what will the Pelicans do with Cousins, better yet, what will they do with the rest of their roster?
DeMarcus Cousins, set to become a free agent at the end of the season has been mentioned in countless trade deadline rumors, now what? How many teams will be willing to offer draft picks and possible starters for a player who will be out up to 10 months while recovering? The Pelicans, Anthony Davis, Cousins, and a few teams are in trouble now.
The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the teams interested in Cousins, and now they will have to go another route. The same goes for teams like the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Cleveland Cavaliers. One injury, and the entire landscape of the NBA trade deadline changes.
There were also reports that Davis could be on the trade market as Boogie may have leapfrogged Davis as the face of the franchise with his play this season. Boogie has always put up good numbers while with the Sacramento Kings, however, his time in New Orleans has been outstanding numbers-wise.
The Pelicans will now rely on a roster that includes Davis, a high-priced Jrue Holiday and a cast of role players who may not be able to carry the load Cousins left behind. The playoffs were always the top goal for the Pelicans and they were clearly on their way this seasonal, but not anymore. Davis has failed to carry his team (only once), and that could be the reason he’s mentioned in a possible deal to the Boston Celtics according to Hoops Hype. Now the Pelicans can’t trade Davis, they need him now more than ever.
Will Any Team Be Willing To Trade For DeMarcus Cousins?
It’s highly unlikely now. What the injury does is give the Pelicans the upper-hand for next season. It sounds awful to admit, but the injury may turn out as the best thing to happen to the Pelicans.
The silver lining for the Pelicans is that they might be able to get Cousins for cheaper, but will be ready by the start of the 2018 season? Tearing an Achilles is one of the worse injuries basketball-wise for a player to overcome. Some experts say that a players’ game will never be the same and if this is true, then New Orleans can kind of low-ball Cousins. Yes, it’s a low blow but this is still a business. There is no way a team like the Lakers or Cavaliers will make an offer for Cousins now. The best bet will be for the Pelicans to offer Cousin a one-year deal and see how he performs in 2018. This way, the Pelicans can keep their core of Davis, Holiday, and Cousins.
If the Pelicans should happen to fall in the standings this season, the trade deadline could be seen as a way to get ready for the 2018 season. The Pelicans can always seek a trade for Carmelo Anthony or they could try to persuade LeBron James to join. With a reduced payroll thanks to Cousins’ injury, the Pelicans can afford to offer James a hefty one-year deal.
The 2018 season might be lost at this point but that doesn’t mean their future is gone as well. While the injury was devastating, it has opened the door for another Davis/Cousins paring in 2018. Where’s the downside in that?