What the DeMarcus Cousins Injury Means

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Sadly, on Friday night against the Houston Rockets, with less than five seconds remaining, DeMarcus Cousins collapsed while trying to grab a rebound. Later that night, an MRI revealed that Cousins had torn the Achilles’ tendon in his left foot.

Cousins and the Pelicans were well on their way to the Playoffs as a 6 seed in the West with a 27-21 record. This would be the first time that DeMarcus Cousins made the playoffs ever in his NBA career. The tandem of Cousins and the best power forward in the league, Anthony Davis were doing fantastic until this injury

A torn Achilles is no joke. The only player who returned from a torn Achilles tendon without missing a beat was Dominique Wilkins in the early ‘90s. That is the best case scenario, but chances are that he will end up like Kobe Bryant or Wesley Matthews post-rehab. Kobe was averaging 27 ppg and that sank to 20 ppg over the next few seasons. Matthews went from averaging 16 ppg to 12 ppg. Though those dips in numbers might not be that significant, there is a mental aspect of the injury. Cousins will definitely lose some of his athleticism and speed and these are two factors which make DeMarcus Cousins,…. well, DeMarcus Cousins. These side effects of less athleticism may make him lose confidence which would be a horrible thing to his game. Of course, those are the worst case scenarios, so let’s hope that he comes back next year stronger and better than ever.

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What This Injury Means for the Pelicans’ Future

For some reason, I have a feeling that the Pelicans will never part ways with Anthony Davis via trade. But with the Cousins injury looming over them, I think this is the perfect time. WIthout DeMarcus, the Pelicans are in the same situation they were in last year when they didn’t have Cousins. Sooner or later, Davis will realize that there is no way that he will be able to win anything with the Pelicans. He is just too good. When Davis plays for the Pelicans, they win around 30-40 games. That range will never get them a great young prospect in the draft, and nobody wants to come to New Orleans in free agency just to be destroyed by the Warriors, Rockets, or Spurs in the playoffs. The Pelicans’ worst nightmare would be if Davis pulls an Eric Bledsoe and publicly announces that he doesn’t want to play for them which lowers his trade value by a ton. The time is now that the Pelicans can get the most assets for Anthony Davis. There is no point in waiting any longer. They are in a situation in which they won’t get into the playoffs, and they won’t get a great prospect in the draft. And that is the worst possible place to be. If I were the GM of the Pelicans, I would trade Anthony Davis and then let DeMarcus Cousins sign with another team in free agency. This would put New Orleans in full rebuild mode ready to compete after the reign of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

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