Pelicans offered DeMarcus Cousins bigger deal that the MLE, contrary to report
Contrary to a previous report by Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the New Orleans Pelicans did indeed offer free agent center DeMarcus Cousins a deal, one that was bigger than the $5.3 million mid-level exception he took from the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, according to William Guillory of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Spears reported that Cousins had “no significant contract offers,” but one that exceeds the humble contract he received from the defending champs surely defies that logic.
While the actual offer numbers aren’t known, it’s likely one Boogie and his representatives scoffed at after spending a year-and-change in The Big Easy.
Cousins was expected to get a max-level contract heading into the 2018-19 season, but a mid-season Achilles injury derailed his chances, as the Pelicans acquired sharpshooting big man Nikola Mirotic at the trade deadline — an asset they rode out to the Western Conference semifinals.
The Pelicans had been rumored to be able to offer a short-term max deal, but they surely etched their grave when they signed the recently-renounced Julius Randle to a two-year deal, further clogging the front lines at the power forward spot, leaving little playing time for Cousins.
Boogie opted for the Warriors, who offered him a short-term deal that would allow him to hit free agency again in 2019 while giving him a clear path to a championship.