During an interview with Bill Reiter on CBS Sports HQ, Davis said he was "a little shocked" to see the news of Cousins' departure:
The five-time All-Star added he didn't want dive too deeply into Cousins' decision-making process (h/t NOLA.com's William Guillory):
"Of course, I definitely would've loved for that to keep going. But at that point, I wasn't sure what was going on with his situation or what was going through his head. It's a lot, coming from being traded and then feeling like you deserve a max contract, and then you tear your Achilles. It was a tough situation, it's tough on him."
The New York Times' Marc Stein reported the Pelicans offered Cousins a two-year deal "in the $40 million range." New Orleans took the offer off the table when Cousins turned it down, and he eventually signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the Warriors.
Although Cousins averaged 25.0 points and 12.7 rebounds in 65 games with New Orleans, not re-signing him might have been the team's best move.
Cousins is coming off a major Achilles injury that's likely going to keep him out for the first few months of the 2018-19 season. The Warriors are one of the few teams that can afford to let Cousins miss a big chunk of the year without it really impacting anything. And if he ultimately underwhelms in the Bay Area, Golden State is still probably the title favorite.
New Orleans, meanwhile, signed Julius Randle to take Cousins' place in the rotation. Randle doesn't boast Cousins' resume, but he averaged 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds last season.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Davis' "tenacious recruiting helped close the deal on Randle," which is important as well. The Pelicans need to keep their best player happy, and it would appear he was sold on Randle as Cousins' replacement.