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Alvin Gentry says New Orleans Pelicans want DeMarcus Cousins back

Alvin Gentry, DeMarcus Cousins

The New Orleans Pelicans hit the proverbial jackpot when they traded for DeMarcus Cousins. He is one of the best big men in the NBA, and proved he could coexist with the team’s incumbent star, Anthony Davis.

But the team’s stroke of lucked turned more sour than month-old milk after Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in the middle of the season. The Pelicans still made the playoffs, but there were legitimate questions as to how far the the could have gone had Cousins been healthy for the entire season.

Going into the summer, Cousins is an unrestricted free agent. Because of his injury — one of the most serious in sports — it’s unclear whether the Pelicans would even want to keep him. It’s even more unclear what the free agent market will be for a player of Cousins’ caliber that has an uncertain future with his health.

But Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry put a stop to at least one of those questions, per Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune.

Cousins is a game changer for any franchise. he’s big, strong, can shoot and pass, can defend. He does it all on the basketball floor. He could always be in better shape, but there’s no question how talented he is.

Gentry is right. It is absolutely obvious that the Pelicans want Cousins back. But wanting something doesn’t always work out. Cousins has a cap hold of more than $27 million. It’s possible he could be looking for the maximum salary in free agency. Are the Pelicans willing to offer that to an injured player?

One team will get him. It’s just a matter of which one, and at what price.