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Future of the Pelicans: Twin Towers Edition

The Pelicans now have arguably the NBA’s best frontcourt. What should they do next?

NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 2017 Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Sunday saw DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis team up for the West All-Stars in the 66th annual NBA All-Star Game. That managed to be the undercard to what became a wild night in New Orleans.

Davis lead the way with an All-Star Game record 52 points and added 10 rebounds to win the MVP as the West won, 192-182. Shortly after All-Star weekend concluded, the NBA world was shocked by the news involving Cousins and Davis.

The Sacramento Kings had agreed to trade Cousins to New Orleans, pairing him with Davis to form the league’s best front court.

The Kings agreed to send Cousins and teammate Omri Casspi in exchange for Buddy Hield (last year’s 6th overall pick), former King Tyreke Evans, Lanston Galloway and a first then second round pick.

Many NBA analysts and beat writers believed the trade to be a steal for New Orleans. Though that may be true, Cousins has proved to be arguably the biggest gamble due to his maturity on and off the court/in the locker room. However, with high risk can come high reward.

After trade was made, former Kentucky teammate and current Washington Wizards guard John Wall shared his perspective on life with Boogie in an interview with FOX Sports’ Chris Broussard.

“What it is is you know he’s already big – he’s like a bully,” Wall said. “He plays with so much heart and drive he wants to be great he kind of gets misread.

“He had a bad rep early on. You can tell him that, he won’t get mad. And I think now he’s trying to change his ways but when you do it. He’s trying to put that behind him but, it’s kind of tough. Whoever his point guard is, whoever his coach is, whoever it is, if he gets a great bond with you and feels like he can trust you, he’ll go to war with you.”

Cousins and Davis, in my book, are both top-15 players in the NBA. Now, it’s just a matter of putting the right pieces around them to form not only a playoff team in the West, but one that can make a deep postseason run.

With Jrue Holiday at point guard, the Pelicans are looking to move former Wildcat Terrance Jones to fill their hole at shooting guard. A few potential trades could evolve as follows.

Pelicans send Quincy Pondexter & Terrance Jones to the Brooklyn Nets for Bogdan Bogdanovic. Bogdanovic is averaging 14.2 PPG and could be re-signed to a long-term deal or bought as a rental to aid a Pelican Playoff run this season.

The Pelicans send Terrance Jones & Quincy Pondexter to Detroit for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Pope is also averaging 14.2 PPG and could also be re-signed to a long-term deal or also bought as a rental to aid a Pelican playoff run this season.

I see Caldwell-Pope as the better fit, as his athleticism and shooting will fit in well with Holiday, Cousins & Davis. The Pelicans would have to adjust a few contracts to extend both him and Cousins, but if the nucleus works out it’s worth the price.

The Cousins-to-NOLA trade was definitely the highlight of the 2017 All-Star Weekend. Cousins could also be the highlight of the Pelicans to finish out the season, as the team sits just 2.5 games out of eighth place to make the playoffs.

The future looks bright in New Orleans, with lots of Kentucky Blue having to do with it.