Report: DeMarcus Cousins Rejected Pelicans' 2-Year, $40 Million Contract Offer

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20:  DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts to a call during the first half of a NBA game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Smoothie King Center on January 20, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins apparently left a lot of money on the table before agreeing to a one-year contract with the Golden State Warriors.

The New York Times' Marc Stein reported Cousins turned down a two-year, $40 million deal from the New Orleans Pelicans. The offer came during the 2017-18 season after Cousins suffered a torn Achilles.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Cousins will sign a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the reigning NBA champions.

Cousins told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears he didn't receive any "significant contract offers" before deciding on a move to Golden State.

When he declined New Orleans' two-year deal, Cousins likely felt confident he can play his way into an even bigger contract this time next summer, and he might be able to do just that with the Warriors.

Helping Golden State win a third straight NBA title and avoiding any drama would go some way toward allaying any fears about Cousins' attitude, which was a problem particularly during his time with the Sacramento Kings.

The Warriors should be the perfect team on which the Kentucky product can showcase his abilities as well. The team doesn't need to rush him back from the Achilles injury, and when he does return, he'll be surrounded by multiple All-Stars on the floor.

That's all assuming Cousins, who turns 28 in August, can still be the player who's averaging 21.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists over his career. The record of players coming off a major Achilles injury is less than encouraging.

If that happens, the Alabama native may have to settle for another one-year deal to prove himself before another team feels comfortable throwing big money his way.