NBA Notebook: DeMarcus Cousins injury could change everything for Pelicans, Anthony Davis

Derick Hingle/USA Today Sports

A successful season to date in New Orleans was derailed on Friday night as DeMarcus Cousins suffered a ruptured Achilles in the closing minutes of a Pelicans’ win over the Rockets. The injury for the All-Star is a major blow to both the player and the franchise. Cousins will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason as he undergoes a 6-to-10 month recovery process, and the Pelicans lose their strong second scoring punch besides Anthony Davis.

While the Pelicans may still be able to rally around the injury and sneak into the playoffs (currently at 27-21) if the supporting cast steps up, there are going to be some tough decisions on the horizon for this franchise at the trade deadline and in the summer months.

The Pelicans clearly could use some help at the trade deadline to stay competitive within a crowded Western Conference playoff race, but their current payroll makes that easier said than done.