This is a question that almost seemed too arbitrary to ask before DeMarcus Cousins went down Jan. 26 with an Achilles tendon tear. It was just assumed that the way the dynamic duo of Cousins and Anthony Davis, aka “the Twin Towers,” finessed all big men inside the paint would award Cousins the five-year, maximum contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, with Cousins sidelined with one of the most devastating injuries, and the Pelicans managing to look better without him, this question is coming of a place of actual curiosity for New Orleans.
No one — not even the Pelicans — saw the kind of success they have had coming without “Boogie.” Going for a strong run in the postseason, it is like Cousins never even left.
For Cousins, who has a long road of recover ahead of him, the Pelican’s success is bitter-sweet, as he might now be in jeopardy of that max extension.
Cousins is known to be a trouble to coaches, opponents and teammates, so the fact that the Pelicans are just starting to get some solid team chemistry, topped with confidence and trust, makes Cousins a liability.
Standing in New Orleans’ shoes, you do not want to jeopardize the underdog team you have built without Cousins by trapping yourself into a full five-year deal with a player who struggles with team interaction.
Cousins has also been questioned on his physical conditioning in the past, so for him to take serious blow to the Achilles raises even more reg flags for New-O.
Is he going to make a full return? When he returns, will he be as good as he once was? Will signing Cousins back on with Davis cause trouble, as Davis has had major success in his new-found position of center?
All in all, there are far too many open-ended questions for New Orleans to be able to sign Boogie to that once ideal five-year, maximum extension.
The Pelicans would be better off either signing him for a much short amount of time, to be able to test his overall health and impact on the team, or relieve him to a different team and free up some cap space.