Cousins open to re-signing with Pelicans, but at what cost?

New Orleans Pelicans star big man DeMarcus Cousins will be an unrestricted free-agent this summer and told ESPN’s The Undefeated he’s open to re-signing with the franchise.

Cousins, however, admitted that he hasn’t spoken to the Pelicans’ front office in a while and understands the team will do what’s best for its future.

The All-Star center tore his left Achilles’ tendon in January, an injury which is considered by many to be the most difficult to come back from.

“Oh yeah, for sure,” Cousins said if he wants to return to New Orleans. “This is my first time in free agency, but I’ve been around this business long enough. I know how things work. I’m not out here trying to hold a grudge or anything like that. I’m going to make the best decision for me, and I believe teams are going to do the same thing.

“I know for a fact my teammates want me back there, but you know it’s a business. The people in the front office are going to make the best decision for the team or whatever they feel is the best decision. You know, we’ll see what happens. I honestly can’t answer that question, I haven’t spoken to the front office in a while, so we’ll see what happens.”

The Pelicans have internally discussed offering Cousins a shorter-team deal for less than the full max, according to a report from ESPN.

Cousins, a four-time All-Star, says he’s currently focusing on his rehab and wants to be ready for the start of the 2018 training camp.

“I’m looking forward to starting the season,” Cousins said. “That’s my own personal goal, so we’ll see what happens. That’s what I’m working on. The doctors haven’t really given me an answer because of the time I injured myself and the amount of time that I have. It’s basically open field because I have so much time. But for me, I’m shooting to be ready for training camp.”

Before getting injured, Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds in 48 games while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from three.