DeMarcus Cousins renounces the Pelicans on social media

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 22: DeMarcus Cousins
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 22: DeMarcus Cousins /

DeMarcus Cousins represents New Orleans’ biggest free agency decision. His choice to unfollow the Pelicans on social media may signal trouble between the enigmatic center and his franchise.

Instagram is a pretty big deal in the world of the NBA. It serves as the preferred method of communication for many of the league’s top stars. That’s why DeMarcus Cousins’ decision to unfollow the Pelicans via the popular social media app could be a sign that negotiations between the center and his team are going south. ProBasketballTalk explains what happened.

Everything was going well between Cousins and his team before he tore his Achilles in late January. He and Anthony Davis were starting to combine well on the floor and the Pelicans seem poised to make the playoffs. In fact, many people thought the team would drop out of the playoff race after he was ruled out for the season.

Then, a funny thing happened. The Pelicans found a way to play good basketball without Cousins on the floor. They were successful in their quest to make the playoffs and surprised people around the league when they bounced the Trail Blazers out of the playoffs in unceremonious fashion.

The Pelicans couldn’t find a way past the Warriors in the next round, but it still caused many people to start asking an interesting question. Does New Orleans really need to re-sign Cousins to be competitive in the Western Conference next season?

Bringing Cousins back into the fold would cost the Pelicans serious cash. They already have $96 million committed next year without anything on the books for Boogie. Signing him to any sort of reasonable contract would probably put them well into the luxury tax. It’s a tricky call for the Pelicans front office.

It’s possible the team’s hesitation to put a big money offer on the table for Cousins has led to this social media riff. He’s a prideful player who, no doubt, thinks he deserves a maximum contract offer despite the questions about his ability to recover from a very serious injury. Cousins absolutely thinks the Pelicans are a better team with him on the floor.

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Add all of this up and it’s clear that contract negotiations between New Orleans and DeMarcus Cousins are going to be a tense issue this summer. Boogie’s decision to fire the first shot on social media might just be the opening salvo in what could be the free agency war of the summer.