In the age of space and shooting as many 3-pointers as possible, the Pelicans looked to turn back time in the NBA by trading for DeMarcus Cousins during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
New Orleans paired Cousins, 6-foot-11 and 270 pounds, with Anthony Davis, 6-10 and 250 pounds, forming a duo of dominant big men. After less than two full seasons, the Pelicans spilt them up.
"I think about our pairing all the time," Cousins said to The Athletic. "Me and AD talk about it. It's f---ed up."
Cousins ruptured his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 26, 2018 in the middle of a season where he was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. He was set to cash in during the offseason with hopes of signing a max contract.
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And then, interest in the four-time All-Star waned off with worries about his rehab, plus concerns about his attitude. Davis, who doesn't become an unrestricted free agent until the 2021 season, would stay in the Big Easy while Boogie went searching for a new home.
"It could've been something great, something special, but other people had different things in mind," Cousins said. "That's out of our control, and you never know what'll happen later on down the line."
On July 2, 2018, Cousins shocked the world by agreeing to sign the mid-level exception with the Warriors. The contract would be just $5.4 million for one year.
He's returned to the floor less than one year since his injury, and so far, the Warriors are unstoppable with Cousins. The Pelicans (22-25), on the other hand, are the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference standings while Davis is currently out with a sprained left index finger.