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DeMarcus Cousins, Meet the Playoffs(?): 2017-18 New Orleans Pelicans Preview

DeMarcus Cousins, Meet the Playoffs(?): 2017-18 New Orleans Pelicans Preview

The New Orleans Pelicans are approaching perhaps the most important season in franchise history.

This slant is neither hyperbolic or inflammatory. It's the truth. So much is riding on how the Pelicans fare this year, after missing the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

Pretty much everything starts with DeMarcus Cousins' free agency. He will hit the open market in 2018, and while the Pelicans get to dangle a fifth year that no one else can, his return is hardly guaranteed. If they fall out of the playoff picture or get the sense he's itching for a relocation, they'll have to look at moving him around the trade deadline. 

And if he leaves, Anthony Davis' future is suddenly shrouded in mystery, if not butter-thick panic. The notion that the Pelicans must shop him now is overblown (read: stupid). He cannot explore free agency until 2020 (player option), and the designated player exception he'll surely qualify for could keep him in town no matter what. 

Lose Cousins, and the Pel

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