NBA Trades: Cleveland Cavaliers Must Trade Tristan Thompson to New Orleans Pelicans for DeMarcus Cousins

By Nikko Villanueva, Posted: 06/28/17 09:15AM EDT

The New Orleans Pelicans' DeMarcus Cousins might again be part of an NBA trade. For the second time this offseason, the All-Star center was linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last season, Cleveland badly needed a reliable center, especially during the 2017 Finals. 

A center is something the Cavaliers have been looking for since the end of the 2015-16 season. However, during that time, they were not that desperate because they just won an NBA title. They also had Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye who did a good job at the position. Sadly, that may no longer be the case. 

In the 2017 NBA Finals, Cleveland relied heavily on Thompson at center. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old was underwhelming. It is unknown why, maybe he succumbed to the pressure of playing against a star-studded Golden State Warriors squad. Whatever the reason was, he became a liability. 

Because of Thompson's lackluster performance, many believe Cleveland should look for another starting center. A report by mentioned the name of Cousins.

The suggestion is for the Cavaliers to ship Thompson to New Orleans for Cousins. A straight up NBA trade with no other players or assets included. The potential exchange was possible in the famous ESPN NBA Trade Machine.

The only question is, will the Cavaliers or Pelicans do this? Cleveland would likely want to make it happen. It gives them a chance to add another All-Star who can help them in competing against their rival, Golden State. 

It could be different for New Orleans. The Pelicans sacrificed a lot to acquire Cousins from the Sacramento Kings in February. They are optimistic that he and Anthony Davis are going to lead the franchise to new heights. 

As mentioned, this is not the first time Cousins and the Cavaliers became topics in a potential NBA trade. An earlier suggestion also featured Cousins heading to "The Land," but in return, it was Kevin Love going to New Orleans. 

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