But "just fine" would be a disappointment for a team with two of the best players in the NBA. The Pelicans want to go from also-rans to championship contenders, and they'd like to do it as soon as possible.
On that front, FOX Sports NBA analyst Chris Broussard has some good news. Trading for Cousins could turn New Orleans into the Association's next superteam — although it won't be easy. On this week's episode of the In The Zone basketball podcast, Broussard explained what steps the Pelicans have to take to become threats to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
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Chris: The Pelicans can become a superteam, but they're light years away
Chris: "Now that Cousins has joined Davis, we suddenly have the makings of what the NBA needs now more than ever - another Super Team. A team that could one day - theoretically, on paper, possibly, if the stars align - compete with the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"The Pelicans are not there yet. Actually, they’re light years away. Heck, they may not even make the playoffs this season. But I don’t care about that. This is not about grabbing the 8th seed this year. This is about successfully acclimating Boogie into their culture, developing rhythm between him and Davis, and building themselves into a future contender around their new Two Pillars.
"It won’t be easy. This is one heck of a chemistry project. But make no mistake, if they do things correctly, the Pelicans can be the truth. With that goal in mind, as a Louisiana native, and having the best interests of the NBA at heart, I’m going to offer some advice to New Orleans so they can turn their franchise into a Boogie Wonderland."
Chris: First off, Boogie needs to grow and change
Chris: "I’ve heard several athletes say they don’t regret anything they’ve done. Hogwash! We’ve all made mistakes. I’ve said several things I wish I hadn’t, done several things I wish could take back. We all have. Especially in our 20s.
"So Boogie, there’s no shame in admitting that you did some things wrong in Sacramento. The shame would be in failing to recognize your mistakes, blaming everything on the Kings’ dysfunction and repeating those same mistakes in New Orleans.
"Several sources have told me that the majority of your teammates in Sacramento didn’t like playing with you. That while you weren’t a bad guy off the court, you were selfish on the court. They said that if the Kings were winning and you weren’t putting up big numbers, you were angry. They said you cussed out coaches, and sometimes bullied your teammates."
Chris: This is Boogie's chance to avoid Terrell Owens' fate
Chris: "Boogie, you could be a Hall of Famer. Yes, even after missing the playoffs and developing a poor reputation over your first six seasons. At 26 years old, you may not care about your legacy. You’re making All-Star teams and mega millions, and for now that may be enough.
"But one day you’ll be concerned about how you’re remembered, about getting the respect and accolades you deserve, about how your reputation affects your family and children. You’ll want to be viewed as the great player you were, rather than as a malcontent who never lived up to his potential. You’ll want to be Rasheed Wallace rather than Derrick Coleman, Paul Pierce rather than Antoine Walker, Cris Carter rather than Terrell Owens.
"This is your chance to turn it around, Boogie. Don’t blow it."
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Chris: The Pelicans have to earn Boogie's trust -- and show him who's boss
Chris: "It’s well-documented that DeMarcus has trust issues. I sat down with John Wall over All-Star weekend and he even told me the secret to getting through to Boogie: [earning his trust with your first impression.] Give Boogie some reason to believe he can’t trust you, and it may be over before it started. This could all blow up in your face and you’ll be wishing for Buddy Hield again.
"So you — General Manager Dell Demps and Coach Alvin Gentry — have to find a way to earn Cousins' trust. Try to get to know him away from the court, show him you’re concerned about DeMarcus the person and not just Boogie the player.
"But that’s only the beginning. I’ve been told of coaches who did befriend DeMarcus, coaches he did like -- and he still walked all over them.
"So soon, real soon -- like yesterday -- you need to sit Boogie down. Both him and Anthony Davis actually, and tell them what you expect from them. That you expect them to be your leaders, that you expect them to be professional, that you expect them to respect the game, their talent, their teammates, and all those within the organization. That they have the opportunity to be like Tim Duncan and David Robinson, like Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson.
"That it’s your responsibility as the GM and Coach to bring that out of them, to push them to that level of greatness, and that in doing so, you’ll be hard on them, you’ll be more demanding of them than of their lesser-talented teammates, that you’re going to hold them accountable, even if it means chewing them out in front of the team."
Chris: When Boogie tests Alvin Gentry, he has to be ready to push back
Chris: "Alvin Gentry, Boogie is going to test you. He’s going to go at you or one of his teammates in practice one day. And when he does, you’ve got to check him immediately.
"You’ve got to go right back at him. Let him know who’s running the show. You may even have to kick him out of practice and send him home. That’s what Mike Malone, the one NBA coach he respected out of the 6 he’s had, did.
"If you fail to do that and give Boogie the impression that he can get away with anything he wants, he’ll bury you. Your team will underachieve, you’ll get fired, and you will have blown a terrific opportunity."
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Chris: Play to your strengths, not Golden State's
Chris: "And finally, to the style of play.
"Alvin, I know you were a key architect of the Warriors’ beautiful offense. But guess what? Steph and Klay didn’t follow you to New Orleans.
"Yet you’re still coaching as if your team is built to run. Your Pelicans are in the league’s top 10 in pace, but rank 27th in offensive efficiency. And now that you’ve got DeMarcus, I think you’re more built to play like the Bash Brothers than the Splash Brothers.
"Look, no one -- not Cleveland, not San Antonio, and certainly not New Orleans -- is going to beat the Warriors at their own game. You’re not going to win a track meet or a shootout with them.
"So slow it down."
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Chris: Learn from the Grizzlies (and the Cavaliers)
Chris: "The teams that have the most success against Golden State play big and oftentimes, slow. No team in the Western Conference has had more success against the Warriors than Memphis, which has beaten them 5 times in the last 3 years, including twice in 3 meetings this season. How do the Grizzlies do it? They play at the 3rd-slowest pace in the league and pound the ball inside to Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
"How did San Antonio demolish the Warriors on the opening night of this season? By going big with Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge.
"What enabled Oklahoma City to take a 3-1 lead over Golden State in last year’s Western Conference Finals? Besides Durant and Westbrook, it was the fact that the Thunder had athletic bigs who could both beat up and stay with the Warriors’ thoroughbreds.
"Cleveland is an anomaly because of the unparalleled greatness of LeBron James, but even they have good size in Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love."
Chris: How to build around Boogie and The Brow
Chris: "I’m not saying you have to become a completely half-court team because Davis runs the floor well for a big man and Boogie is a solid 3-point shooter. But Cousins on the block, some high-low action with Davis, and some bruising, physical play should become a big part of your Pelicans’ identity.
"Besides Cousins and Davis, you guys also have a really good point guard in Jrue Holiday. That right there can become a Big 3 -- if Holiday can stay healthy. Injuries limited Jrue to just 94 starts over the previous 3 seasons.
"While his absence early this season was due to a family crisis rather than injury, his history of being banged-up scares me -- and it should scare you. So take these final 25 games to play Holiday and play him a lot. I would give him at least 37, 38 minutes a game -- maybe 40 -- to see if his body can withstand the grind. If he does, pay him handsomely this summer and seek to add wing shooters and defenders around your super trio.
"Then, you could be cooking with gas. Or since it’s New Orleans, should I say, 'cooking with grease.'"
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Chris: It won't be easy, but Boogie is worth the risk
Chris: "So it's that simple.
"Nah, I'm just playing. Like I said, it may not be easy, but it’s certainly possible. Oh, and I wouldn’t even worry about Boogie signing or not-signing a long-term deal with you. This is as much of a tryout for him as it is for you. If he acts up and wreaks havoc on your club like he did in Sacramento, send his butt packing before next year’s trade deadline.
"Either way, the possible reward is well worth the risk."