DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans Changes the Landscape of the League

Anthony Davis had himself a night. Not only did he break Wilt Chamberlain’s all-star scoring record, but he also acquired fellow Kentucky Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins as his front-court buddy. The Pelicans will send guard Buddy Hield, 2017 first- and second-round picks, and guards Tyreke Evans (going back to Cali) and Langston Galloway to Sacramento for Cousins and forward Omri Casspi.

Anthony Davis (age 23) is averaging 28 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists. DeMarcus Cousins (age 26) is averaging 28 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. This newly formed duo has the potential to be the greatest front-court in NBA history. 

What makes this front-court so lethal is how the NBA is developing into a small ball league. Power forwards are becoming big-man hybrids who can shoot and guard the perimeter, but with limited size they give up boards to bulkier power forwards like Zach Randolph.

The difference between the Pelicans playing big with Cousins and Davis, versus the Grizzlies playing big with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, is that Cousins and Davis are both freak athletes who can run with just about anyone. Coach Alvin Gentry will be able to enjoy an old school 2000’s Suns up-tempo style of play, because Cousins and Davis can handle the rock and run like guards.

Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins on the floor together = Small Ball with two 7-footers.

Spacing on offense will not be an issue. DeMarcus Cousins averages 35% from 3 point range, and Anthony Davis has a Dirk-esque mid-range game. The Pelicans can play big without giving up speed, which changes the entire landscape of the league.

Defensively the Pelicans can be scary. Davis is already able to guard literally every position in the league with ease. Cousins will have to adjust, but he has proven to be a very good defender when engaged. His issue is more mental than anything.

Doubters will argue that even if the Pelicans make the playoffs, they would just get murdered by the Warriors, and that’s true. The Pelicans have a border-line D-League roster minus Jrue Holiday.

PG

1. Jrue Holiday
2. Tim Frazier
SG

1. E’Twaun Moore
SF

1. Solomon Hill
2. Omri Casspi
3. Quincy Pondexter
PF

1. Dante Cunningham
2. Terrence Jones
3. Cheick Diallo
4. Donatas Motiejunas
C

1. DeMarcus Cousins
2. Anthony Davis
3. Alexis Ajinca
4. Omer Asik

The Pelicans will be the most covered team in July. They will have some cap room if they ship away Omer Asik and Soloman Hill. New Orleans will definitely be a free agent destination and Mardi Gras will probably not even be the main draw for players. A point guard who goes by the name of Chris Paul was drafted by New Orleans. He has a player option to opt out of his contract and can become a free agent this summer.

The Pelicans are 23-34, sitting at 11th place in the west, but are only 2.5 games out of the 8 spot. Even if the Pelicans miss the playoffs/get swept by the Warriors, this experiment is far from over. Cousins (age 26) and Davis (age 23) are not even in their primes yet. If ‘Brow and Boogie stay together, they can develop into something extremely special.

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