DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis had big dreams together in New Orleans for not only this past season, but for well into the future, too.
Midway through the year, the former Kentucky stars combined for a whopping 53 points, 24 rebounds, and 4.2 blocks per game. They were easily one of the most unstoppable duos in the league.
And then Cousins went down with an Achilles injury, ending his season.
Most assumed the Pelicans, like Cousins, were done for the year. Most teams losing their All-Star big man and No. 2 option would be.
But New Orleans played well… Really well… So well that they locked up the No. 6 seed and swept three-seed Portland in the opening round. So well that they defeated NBA-champion Golden State once in the second round, something LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t even do in the NBA Finals.
As a result, the Pelicans are very hesitant about paying Cousins the $30-plus million he is looking for, especially considering he is coming off a major injury.
And with New Orleans hesitant on backing up the Brinks truck for Cousins, the Dallas Mavericks are prepared to capitalize.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Mavericks will be targeting both Cousins and former Kentucky forward Julius Randle in free agency.
The Mavericks can create space to sign a max free agent, and multiple league sources expect them to pursue a trio of big men: DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, and restricted free agent Julius Randle.
The Journal Times, a newspaper out of Fort Worth, reports though Cousins has not ruled out re-signing with New Orleans, the Mavericks have been interested in the former Kentucky big man for quite some time, and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to bring him to Dallas.
Multiple reports have said that Dallas interest in Cousins has not waned despite the injury.
The Pelicans would surely like to bring him back, just not at $30 million per season.
The Mavericks certainly have the cap room to make a highly competitive offer for the big man and Cuban has repeatedly stated that he wants to spend this off-season. Like the Pelicans, the Mavericks are hoping that Cousin’s most recent injury and sometimes volatile personality will drive his cost down.
As for Randle, the Mavericks were reportedly interested in the Laker forward back at the trade deadline last season, and even made several calls to try to get a deal finalized.
The Mavericks are looking to acquire Julius Randle from the Lakers. Los Angeles is reportedly looking for expiring contracts & draft picks in exchange. (via @LakersNation)
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 2, 2018
Now that he is a restricted free agent, and the Lakers are interested in superstars LeBron James and Paul George, the Mavericks have the cap room to make an offer Los Angeles simply cannot match. In fact, with a few minor moves, Dallas will have enough money to theoretically sign both Randle and Cousins.
Admittedly, that duo isn’t nearly as fun as Davis and Cousins in New Orleans, and I’m hoping the Pelicans front office comes to their senses and opens the checkbook for Boogie. If not, I suppose a Randle/Cousins duo wouldn’t be too bad.
What do you guys think?