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Pelicans would take back DeMarcus Cousins but only on short-team deal

DeMarcus Cousins

One of the biggest fishes in the free agent market this year is DeMarcus Cousins. Although he is still recovering from a devastating Achilles injury, the interest in the center from other teams has not waned that much. The New Orleans Pelicans have also shown fondness in bringing Cousins back, though, the structure of the contract that they are going to offer is going to be relatively shorter, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (h/t Sagar Trika of Blazer’s Edge).

Woj: New Orleans will take Cousins back on a shorter deal — perhaps a one-year deal or a one-year deal with a player option. Have to be careful in negotiations, though, to not make it look as if they’re taking advantage of his injury — that could upset him.

Aware of the mercurial nature of Cousins, the Pelicans, as mentioned, are going to tiptoe a little bit in working out a new deal with the four-time All-Star.

The Pelicans have a reason to practice prudence. After all, even the team has no exact idea how the former Kentucky Wildcats star will fare once he’s given the green light to return to action. Before suffering the season-ending Achilles injury, Cousins put up averages of 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks in 48 games.

New Orleans is also on a tight budget, as the Pellies have $96 million in guaranteed salaries for the 2018-19 season.

Even with Cousins sidelined for almost half of the last regular season and in the playoffs, the Pelicans were still able to put up a 48-34 record and reach the second round of the postseason.