Kyrie Irving is special.
The Cavaliers point guard is a former No. 1 overall draft pick, NBA Rookie of the Year, four-time all-star, champion, Olympic gold medalist and owner of the sickest handle on the face on this sphere we call Earth (though he gladly argue it’s flat.)
Irving has received acclaim and accolades the world over and is just entering his prime.
Despite his status, he still gets all giddy when friends and family make him feel special just like the rest of us. Watch him grin from ear to ear when teammate LeBron James sings “Happy Birthday” to him on his 25th Thursday.
The offseason extension in five months is out of play for Cousins in this scenario. Fiscally, it makes little sense for Cousins to sign it due to rules for non-designated player extensions. The most Cousins could sign for in the first year is 120 percent of approximately $18 million (his 2017-18 salary), which is about $21.6 million as a starting salary. That’s considerably lower than he could get if he waits it out, when the Pelicans can offer him a five-year, nearly $180 million deal.
However, it’s also considerably more than the four-year, approximately $130 million deal any other team could offer him in free agency in 2018. The key here will be whether Demps and the team itself proves it can contend. If the team contends, Cousins is heavily incentivized to stay.
The Pelicans must convince Holiday to stick around. Holiday is an unrestricted free agent this summer who figures to have max-level offers from quite a few suitors who could use a point guard that not only defends, but also is capable of playing both on and off ball. He’s a perfect fit for this group, and the Pelicans will likely do what it takes to convince him to stay. Still, it’s never done until it’s done, and it would behoove this group to start winning quickly.