The Los Angeles Lakers may have struck out on Paul George at the stroke of free agency on Saturday night, but it appears Plan B has already begun.
New Orleans free agent forward DeMarcus Cousins was contacted by both the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday and the big man intends to set up meetings with both teams.
New Orleans Pelicans All-Star free agent center DeMarcus Cousins received calls from the Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers tonight once free agency began and is expected to have meetings scheduled with both teams soon, a source told ESPN's The Undefeated.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 1, 2018
As the clock ticked toward the start of free agency, rumors began surfacing that the Lakers would begin targeting Cousins with Paul George appearing more and more likely to stay in Oklahoma City, a decision he ultimately did end up making.
A deal for Cousins, though, would like be a short-term one with the big man coming off a torn Achilles suffered early in 2018. Cousins plans to make it back on the court in time for training camp, but the long-lasting effects of hte injury could have a toll on Cousins’ game.
However, with the Lakers closing in on signing James, a healthy Cousins would give the team two dynamic superstars and take them all the closer to title contention. Should a deal work with Cousins and he returns to old form, the two sides could work out a long-term contract next off-season to keep the team largely in tact.