One of the biggest named players on the free agent market this offseason is DeMarcus Cousins, as he will be an unrestricted free agent following a successful year with the New Orleans Pelicans. Alvin Gentry, the head coach of the Pelicans, has revealed the team's stance on the center.
Cousins and the Pelicans were well on their way towards becoming one of the dark horses to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals this year. However, those hopes were derailed after the center picked up an injury during the backend of the regular season.
Without him in their lineup, New Orleans managed to clinch the sixth seed in the NBA playoffs and sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the opening round before losing to the Golden State Warriors in five games in the second round. It comes as no surprise then that they would love to have him back next season so that they can go even further in the postseason.
According to ESPN, Gentry said on Monday while speaking at the Saints Hall of Fame Golf Classic: "I don't really talk about free agency. But the bottom line is that obviously we'd like to have him back on our team. Anyone that thinks you're better having a guy that averaged [25 PPG, 13 RPG, 5 APG] not on your team is really kind of not in tune to what it takes to win in this league.
"So there's just so many factors that enter into it. But there's not one single person, player or coach or in the basketball ops department or ownership that doesn't want him back."
While the Pelicans have expressed a desire to re-sign Cousins this summer, it will be very difficult for them to do so. Team-wise, they might be the favourites, but salary cap wise, they're in a bit of a pickle.
David Aldridge has reported in his latest Morning Tip mailbag that New Orleans has $85 million already committed in the 2018-19 season to just five players, which are Jrue Holiday ($26 million), Anthony Davis ($25 million), Solomon Hill ($12.7 million), Nikola Mirotic ($12.5 million) and E’Twaun Moore ($8.8 million).
They also have to re-sign Rajon Rondo, which won’t break the bank but this along with the salaries above will limit how much the Pelicans will be able to offer Cousins to re-sign with the team this summer.
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