The Dallas Mavericks don’t have any interest in DeMarcus Cousins.
Forget the context. The New Orleans Pelicans could implode and start shopping him ahead of the February trade deadline, or he could merely take meetings around the league when he enters free agency this summer. It doesn’t matter. The Mavericks don’t, and won’t, want him.
Except they might actually want him.
Speaking with Tim Bontemps on The Washington Post‘s NBA podcast, ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon dropped the following the tidbit (via HoopsHype):
Tim MacMahon on the Mavericks trying to get DeMarcus Cousins: I’ve been told by people with the Mavericks that “absolutely no way would they touch Boogie”… I also think that I’ve been lied to [laughs].
This could be nothing. Or it could be something. It remains far too early to tell. Most don’t expect the Pelicans to consider moving Cousins this season. They’re too close to the tip of the Western Conference’s playoff race, and even if they’re on track to miss the postseason, carrying Cousins’ Bird rights will be a valuable recruiting tool entering this summer. So if the Mavericks do, in fact, have any interest in Cousins, they won’t get the opportunity to fully express it until this summer.
And, let’s face it, they might be interested in him.
The Mavericks will have a fairly clear path to max cap space. They’re looking at over $20 million just by renouncing free agents who aren’t Seth Curry and by bringing back Dirk Nowitzki. They can easily find salary to lop off elsewhere, be it the contracts of Wesley Matthews (expires after 2018-19), Dwight Powell or someone else. They’ve also long held affinities for big men in free agency. They went after Dwight Howard in his prime. They thought they poached DeAndre Jordan in 2015. They traded for Nerlens Noel last year and tried signing him as a restricted free agent. And, finally, they were among the teams who showed interest
, however preliminary, in Cousins while the Sacramento Kings were hocking him around the league last February.
So when it comes to the question of whether they’d “touch” Cousins given the opportunity, we’ll go ahead and assume that MacMahon has, like he says, been lied to.