New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins was helped off the floor late in Friday night's 115-113 win over the Houston Rockets with a non-contact lower left leg injury, and tests have reportedly confirmed the team's worst fears.
Cousins suffered the injury in the final seconds of New Orleans' 115-113 victory over the Houston Rockets while trying to track down an offensive rebound.
He already had a triple-double against the Rockets before the incident, and just two games prior, tallied a monster stat line over the Chicago Bulls with 44 points, 23 rebounds, 10 assists, and four steals.
"We're not sure what's going to happen with Demarcus", Pelicans Power Forward Anthony Davis said in a post game interview.
He was just a week removed from being named a starter in the NBA All-Star Game for the first time. So it will be interesting to see how New Orleans plays Houston, considering the Rockets have won 9 of the last 11 meetings between these two.
New Orleans (27-21) is now sixth in the Western Conference standings. A shorter one? Or should they trade Cousins to a tanking team before the February 8 deadline in exchange for a contributor who can help save the current season? Each could help New Orleans dramatically in the short term. With just over half of the season left, there has been a lot going on.
But will Demps be evaluated on the team's best stretch of the season or the final result at season's end?
The timing is also brutal for Cousins, as he's in a contract year. He recorded 41 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and became the seventh player this season to have a 40-10-5 game.
It's not to say that DeMarcus Cousins will never be the same player; it's just to say that there's no guarantee. The setback will also make it more hard for the Pelicans to make the playoffs. Right in the hunt for the playoffs, it appeared Cousins would finally be making his first trip to the post-season in his National Basketball Association career. They'd be able to thoroughly dominate even the Golden State Warriors in the paint thanks to their length, versatility, athleticism and two-way ability.
Whoever is running the show this summer will have to figure out how to handle Cousins' free agency.
I recently wrote about, noting that of the is on track to become only the fourth player out of 18 comebacks since 1990 to meet or exceed his pre-injury projection the following season.