Alvin Gentry: ‘Goes without saying’ Pelicans want DeMarcus Cousins back
Despite a valiant effort, the over-matched New Orleans Pelicans were eliminated from the postseason Tuesday night, losing a Game 5 showdown with the Golden State Warriors by a score of 113-104.
The Pelicans, as is the case with most teams, had little hope of beating the über-talented Warriors in a series. New Orleans’ hopes to make a prolonged run in the postseason was of course hindered by how the team was without DeMarcus Cousins, having lost the superstar for the season in late January to a torn left Achilles’ tendon.
Cousins is set to hit free agency in the offseason. Reports have suggested the Pelicans are inclined to offer Cousins a short-term contract in light of the season-ending injury. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry, however, stated after Tuesday’s loss that there’s no reason why the team would not want Cousins to return in 2018-19.
“He was on our team and he was great,” Gentry said, via The Times-Picayune. “You know, that’s something that we’ll discuss.”
Cousins was enjoying the best season of his career, averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 48 games, before the injury. Gentry correctly pointed out it’s not easy to replace a player that consistently puts up that kind of production.
“Obviously the guys is averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds,” Gentry said. “You’d like to have him on your team. I think that goes without saying.”
Cousins’ hopes of landing a max contract this coming offseason may have been effectively short-circuited by his Achilles’ injury. There nevertheless will be a viable market for the 27-year-old superstar’s services in free agency.
Cousins of course does come with some baggage, but seemed to be settling in nicely alongside Anthony Davis. Given how well the Pelicans played in his absence — not to mention Gentry’s comments – perhaps Cousins actually could remain in the Big Easy.