DeMarcus Cousins is hoping for a return before the start of next season

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans

In the midst of his best season in the NBA where he was on course to reach the playoffs for the first time, DeMarcus Cousins' campaign cruelly came to an end when he suffered a torn Achilles.

After years of losing with the Sacramento Kings, he was finally in a winning situation with the New Orleans Pelicans and formed a devastating frontcourt partnership with Anthony Davis.

The center was forced to be a spectator as the team secured a postseason berth in his absence and reached the conference semi-finals.

With an impending free agency on the way, it's unclear where Cousins will be playing his basketball next year as he's likely to have several suitors.

Brooklyn Nets v New Orleans Pelicans

Understandably, most teams will be concerned by his injury and how long it will keep him out.

But the 27-year-old has made it clear that he's aiming to be ready for the start of next season.

"I'm looking forward to starting the season," Cousins told 'The Undefeated'. "That's my own personal goal, so we'll see what happens. That's what I'm working on. The doctors haven't really given me an answer because of the time I injured myself and the amount of time that I have.

"It's basically open field because I have so much time. But for me, I'm shooting to be ready for training camp."

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans

Cousins believes the rest he's had since going down with the injury has done wonders for his body and feels "brand-new".

"Just getting this amount of time to rest my body, I've never had this much rest probably since I picked up a basketball." Cousins said. "I feel like it's been tremendous for my body. I feel great. I feel fresh. I feel brand-new. It's crazy to say."

The All-Star also discussed his looming summer decision and stated that he's looking to play for a "contending team".

With $96 million guaranteed for next year, the Pelicans will have to go into the luxury tax in order to re-sign the big man.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

Because of his talent, they may be left with no choice but to invest in him and offer him a big contract.

Letting go of a player who averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks would be risky for New Orleans as it'll be tough to find another player who can offer that level of production.

Cousins has admitted he's more than open to returning to the Big Easy and the feeling should definitely be mutual.

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