DeMarcus Cousins will miss the rest of the 2017-18 season after suffering a left Achilles tendon tear tonight in the Pelicans’ 115-113 win over the Rockets. Cousins grabbed the back of his left ankle and fell to the ground after going up for a rebound in the closing seconds of the game; he put no pressure on the leg as he exited the court.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski subsequently confirmed an initial diagnosis of a left Achilles tendon tear. Cousins has yet to undergo an MRI, but Wojnarowski states that the prognosis is clear.
DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn left Achilles tendon, league sources tell ESPN. He will miss the rest of the season. The MRI is coming soon, but diagnosis is clear.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 27, 2018
Cousins’ injury is a serious blow to the Pelicans’ playoff hopes. They are currently No. 6 in the Western Conference with a 27-21 record, but are only three games ahead of the No. 9 Clippers. New Orleans has won seven of their last eight games, including victories over the Blazers, Celtics, and Rockets.
The Blazers, who have also been playing well recently, sit only a half game back from the Pelicans and could easily surpass them with Cousins set to miss significant time.
The Achilles injury could also have major financial ramifications for Cousins, who will be a free agent after this season. According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Pelicans were planning to offer Cousins a maximum contract this summer, but the severity of the injury could obviously complicate that decision.
As we covered in a recent @nytimes NBA newsletter, New Orleans has been planning to offer DeMarcus Cousins a five-year max deal in the $175 million range on July 1 and widely expected to re-sign him immediately. The calculus involved obviously just got a lot more complicated ...— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 27, 2018
Before the injury, Cousins contributed a triple double tonight with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. He was selected as an All-Star starter, along with teammate Anthony Davis, earlier this month. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will now have to choose a replacement All-Star.