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Alvin Gentry doubles down on hope DeMarcus Cousins returns to Pelicans

Alvin Gentry once again made it clear this week that the entire New Orleans Pelicans organization from top to bottom hopes DeMarcus Cousins stays with the team.

“There’s not anyone that does not want him back with our franchise,” Gentry said Monday at the Saints Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic, via The Times-Picayune.

Cousins, 27, is set to hit unrestricted free agency this upcoming offseason, and his future in the Big Easy is murky at best. In a recent wide-ranging interview with The Undefeated, Cousins stated there has been no contact with the Pelicans front office in “a while.”

In the same interview, Cousins acknowledged he knows his teammates want him back and indicated his goal is to be ready for training camp and the start of the season after suffering a season-ending torn left Achilles’ tendon in late January, regardless of what his future holds. However, Cousins also stated he is “very open” to returning to the Pelicans.

Gentry’s comments Monday doubled-down on what he said earlier this month about the superstar player.

“The bottom line is that obviously we’d like to have him back on our team,” Gentry reiterated Monday. “Anyone that thinks you’re better having a guy that averaged (25 points) and 13 (rebounds) not on your team, is really kind of not in tune to what it takes to win in this league. There’s just so many factors that enter into it, but there’s not one single person, player, coach, or in the basketball (operations) department or ownership that doesn’t want him back.”

All that aside, Cousins has been engaging in some cryptic antics on social media that calls into question his interest in staying with the Pelicans. Reports have suggested the Pelicans are inclined to offer him a short-term contract in light of how he’s coming off a serious injury. It will be interesting to see how things play out going forward and whether the Pelicans’ clear interest in Cousins convinces him to stick around in New Orleans.