The Pelicans offseason hinges on the DeMarcus Cousins decision. Will he sign? Will he walk? Will he agree to a sign-and-trade? In this series, I will look at ways to build a team that finds itself in any of those scenarios.
Last week I started this series that will look at the three ways the Pelicans can pivot the franchise based off of the DeMarcus Cousins conundrum — a sign-and-trade, a re-signing and a walk into the sunset. In part 1 I laid a plan with the initial move of signing and trading Boogie to the Wizards for Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre Jr., Marcin Gortat and Jason Smith. It wasn’t purely a S&T piece — as these next few pieces are meant to be plans on how to build a team after the Cousins situation is decided. If you haven’t read it, please check out those roster decisions in detail.
As I’ve often said, I’m 95% fan and 5% media. Most of my writing experience comes from concept development, presentation and copy writing with a decent amount of music journalism. I’m still very raw when it comes to covering basketball. I’m admittedly more of an eyeball tester and a throw out roster shaping ideas guy than an analytics code breaker or a CBA expert — but I’m learning as I go. Oleh has recently steered me to this Hoops Rumors article that pokes some holes in the dynamics of my initial sign-and-trade, but it doesn’t mean that the concepts won’t work. By signing Cousins to a three-year deal valued at slightly less than $22M/year next season (less than 20% increase of his 2017-18 salary), the initial sign-and-trade deal will work as written, and this new trade idea goes off without a hitch as well. Also, this new twist that involves Memphis could work even if Boogie’s salary would exceed $22M/year, but this trade would have to be tied directly to the trade with Washington thus creating a three team deal or Gortat would have to be sent to Orlando in the initial S&T with picks and no returning salary. However, Nikola Mirotic would have to be included in the deal with Memphis to make the money work — convincing Cousins to sign for $18-21M per year for 3 years (3rd could be a player option) seems possible....