Jrue Holiday, Shooters Key to DeMarcus Cousins Staying With New Orleans Pelicans?

By Joe Bacaron, Posted: 05/16/17 06:52PM EDT

The New Orleans Pelicans have only one season to convince DeMarcus Cousins to stay and not go to free agency. And the team already has a plan: re-sign Jrue Holiday and surround their big men with sharpshooters.

The 6-4 point guard averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds in the regular season. Holiday's calling card has always been his slashing ability, although his three-point percentage is a respectable 35%, which is also the same percentage that the Pelicans as a team averaged on rainbow country (Cousins actually averaged 36% from three).

Gentry said this is what they need to address during the off season and the NBA Draft 2017. "If you're going to play the two big guys that we have, obviously, there are going to be a lot of double-teaming and those guys are going to have to make a decision," he said.

But the coach said that the players they are going to surround Cousins and Anthony Davis with don't have to shoot from three. However, they will find themselves open from the mid-range a lot of time with the twin towers in the paint.

For the 2017-2018, season the Pelicans owe Cousins $18 million and change in basic salary. The 6-11 talented center will become an unrestricted free agent after that. But the team will really have to dig deep into its pockets if it decides to extend his contract.

As early as January this year, it was rumored that Cousins is looking for a contract extension with the Sacramento Kings worth $200 million. Of course, he was traded to the Pelicans afterwards so that plan went out the window.

However, the Pelicans will have to pull off a miracle in the 2017 NBA Draft in order to keep their first round pick. If the team fails to land in the top three, the pick will go to the Sacramento Kings as part of the Cousins trade.

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