DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Golden State Warriors was one of the biggest bombshells of NBA Free Agency 2018 so far. After the agreement was announced, rumors leaked that the Portland Trail Blazers were in discussions with the New Orleans Pelicans over a sign-and-trade for Cousins. Now possible details of those discussions have emerged. Fletcher Mackel of NBC NOLA reported that Portland was considering a deal for Cousins that would have sent Zach Collins and Maurice Harkless to New Orleans:
Heard same thing.— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) July 3, 2018
1-year, 15 million.
Pelicans may have gotten Harkless and Collins. Many possibilities discussed in this scenario.
Would have been good for Boogie and NOLA....and Dame! https://t.co/elvy1O68j5
Mackel followed up the next day with financial details discussed in “several” Cousins sign-and-trades:
NBA source told me 3 things today:— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) July 3, 2018
3. Pels officials also upset Cousins opted not to work w/them. Several sign & trade deals were in the works. Boogie gets $12-17 and a starter role on a playoff team when healthy. NOLA wanted assets for him & for him to find a good situation.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his Lowe Post podcast he could confirm the money range discussed with Portland, but not the report of several sign-and-trade proposals:
I have heard of one legitimate sign-and-trade transaction that was anywhere close to being in the works. That’s the Portland one that Chris Haynes reported. $12-17 million is the salary range that’s being discussed. That’s right, in that case, that’s about right from what I’ve heard in that Portland case.
Several? I can’t verify. I’ve heard of one.
Mackel responded to Lowe, saying that “several” was what he’d heard, along with another Portland mention:
Good stuff!— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) July 4, 2018
The part at the 35 minute mark about Cousins worth to GSW for just switches in the playoffs is hilarious.
And thanks for shoutout late!
Yeah, my source said “several” S&T discussed. Portland seemed perfect match for NOLA. Maybe Harkless and Collins.
All moot now. https://t.co/bzYAuUJfY2
Note: Lowe also points out on his podcast that sign-and-trade contracts must run at least three years, which is confirmed by Larry Coon’s 2017 CBA FAQ. This makes a sign-and-trade of the one year variety, as reported by Mackel, impossible. If an offer was on the table, Cousins would have been forced to agree to a longer term at that salary, which may have made the prospect less palatable.