DeMarcus Cousins shouldn’t expect a visit from the proverbial Brink’s truck.
The New Orleans Pelicans are unlikely to offer the All-Star center a five-year, max contract when he becomes a free agent this offseason, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the discussion. The team instead is considering offering Cousins a two- or three-year contract worth less than the max amount, which would be worth around $40 million per season for a player with his NBA experiences.
Lowe suggests the season-ending Achilles injury Cousins suffered in January, combined with the Pelican’s strong performances in the regular season and first round of the playoffs, has changed the team’s position on the 27-year-old’s future with the franchise. They reportedly were preparing at the start of the season to offer Cousins a lucrative, long-term contract, but the season’s events reportedly have convinced them not to trade their future flexibility for a player, whose recovery prospects aren’t clear.
The contract the Pelicans reportedly now are preparing for Cousins probably won’t please him, but he reportedly seems happy to stay in New Orleans, and other teams are unlikely to offer him a max deal.
The Pelicans are gambling on this scenario as the offseason approaches. It either will pay off or backfire in the coming months.