It still feels surreal, but yes, the DeMarcus Cousins trade to the New Orleans Pelicans trade did indeed happen over the weekend.
There is one thing he has on his mind with the Pelicans too, and that involves winning alongside the team’s other star big man in Anthony Davis.
“My concern is to help build a winning culture,” Cousins said today at his Pelicans introductory press conference alongside the man that brought him to New Orleans, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps.
Before All-Star weekend, Davis was informed that the Pelicans were interested in Cousins, which lead him to send a text message to Cousins that said “I really want you to come [to New Orleans]. Michael Lee of The Vertical says Cousins ignored the text from Davis because of the Kings past statements about wanting to keep him in Sacramento long-term. Statements that were vocalized by management both privately and publicly.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr only played Cousins 2 minutes in the Western Conference’s 192-182 win over the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday largely due to the fact that the trade was close. Lee also notes that Cousins and Demps engaged in conversations in the streets of New Orleans during All-Star weekend.
“I guess I wasn’t paying attention. But all of the signs were there. And it happened,” Cousins said.
With the Pelicans, Cousins has a chance at rebuilding his reputation. He is known across the league as having an attitude problem at times, while some league executives have also deemed him “uncoachable.” Cousins’ 17 technical fouls lead the NBA by a wide margin this season, and he has already been suspended a game because of them.
Cousins joked about the 17 technical fouls in his presser today after he was asked by a reporter just how competitive he was. He replied back with “about 17 technicals worth.”
While many consider Davis and Cousins to now be the best power forward-center duo in the league. Pelicans management will have to work on improving the roster further down the line. Point guard Jrue Holiday is set to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season, and the team could use an upgrade on the wing after including Buddy Hield and Tyreke Evans in the trade.
The Pelicans also now have the flexibility to trade or part ways with the contracts of centers Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca with Cousins in town. They are also expected to formally announce the signing of guard Hollis Thompson to a 10-day contract tomorrow.
The 26-year-old Cousins is averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game this season.
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