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New Orleans likely to offer DeMarcus Cousins much less than max contract

26 April 2018, 12:32 | Percy Christensen

NBA Rumors: Pelicans Considering Offering DeMarcus Cousins Shorter-Term Contract

Report: Pelicans pick up 2018-19 option of head coach Alvin Gentry

The Warriors and the Pelicans will match up in the second round, with Game 1 coming on Saturday (April 28) at Oracle Arena.

Clearly, the Pelicans are pleased with the job Gentry has done with this team. But one can bet they won't be all that happy to have to play against him.

Now that we've established the teams as relatively evenly-matched going into the series, it's time to look at what changed. Continuing to guide his Pelicans through the choppy waters of the Western Conference Playoffs with some degree of success will surely help, as will continued success next season. These huge performances from the big three of Davis, Rondo and Holiday were critical for New Orleans' offensive improvement. Davis doesn't need a John Legend - he's Oprah. Losing Cousins and adding power forward and Theodor Herzl doppelganger Nikola Mirotic, shouldn't make a team better.

Throughout his six years in Sacramento, the one city in California you couldn't pay this On Fire correspondent to live in, Cousins never led his team to more than 33 wins. However, after Cousins suffered a potential career-altering Achilles injury in January, the connection to the Lakers seemed to have gotten quieter.

At 27 years of age, Cousins still has plenty of time to turn things around. Having up to four home games in the series is, indeed, an "advantage", as demonstrated by the fact that 26 of the 30 National Basketball Association teams posted superior home records, (the Pelicans, curiously, ended up with an even home-away record). Over the last 34 games without him, their defensive rating has been in the top five.

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Ultimately, this should all amount to just a barbershop conversation about Cousins with my hairstylist Katya.

Prior to his injury, Cousins was in line for a max deal in free agency this summer.

Looking ahead at the upcoming offseason, there are quite a few teams that could be interested in offering Cousins a solid deal, but very few that would consider a maximum contract.

But ESPN's Zach Lowe has suggested New Orleans could offer Cousins a two or three-year deal for less than the max.

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