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Barstool NBA Notebook: DeMarcus Cousins Contract, Westbrook Fined, Kawhi Meeting & More

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This is a new daily series I plan on launching with half the league in the offseason. The NBA offseason tends to be one of the more wild one at the professional level, so this will be your cheat sheet to see what’s going on. This will be everything from coaching changes and interviews, contract deals, trades, etc. We’ll avoid game recaps, but rather focus on the other aspects to the league and game. You’ll be able to find it all right here. If there’s something you want changed with this set up or any ideas, let me know @barstoolreags

Pelicans may offer DeMarcus Cousins less than max

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Pelicans are contemplating offering Cousins a 2-3 year deal that would be worth less than the max amount of money. Now, the reason for that is a couple of things. First, they feel like they have some leverage due to the fact they made the playoffs and swept the Blazers despite not having him due to injury. Second, there are only a handful of team that can offer a max deal and the belief is about half of them won’t offer Cousins a max deal. So right away the market is diminished a bit for Cousins. It’s going to be an interesting free agency to watch as Cousins is still just 27 years old and playing with someone he considers a friend in Anthony Davis. Throw in the fact the two actually do play well together, they have a core that can win some games and the Pelicans fans seem to adore Cousins and he may be willing to come back in order to succeed.

Russell Westbrook won’t be suspended for Game 5, but fined $10k 

This was a decision that OKC fans were waiting on and got the news they were hoping for. Late in Game 4, there was a hard foul by Raymond Felton on Rudy Gobert. Westbrook was waiting to check in and at some point stepped onto the court and sort of got into it with Gobert. Now, there were no punches or anything like that, just a little shove, but the rule is if you come off the bench onto the floor you’re suspended a game. The question ended up being did a ref waive Westbrook onto the court since he was at the scorers table? Ultimately it was ruled that he didn’t come off the bench, so the Thunder will have him for Game 5. The Jazz lead the series 3-1 and Ricky Rubio has gotten the best of Russell Westbook from an individual standpoint. With the game heading back to OKC, we’ll see how aggressive Westbrook is early on.

Knicks meeting with David Blatt in Europe

One of the names that has come up quite a bit during the Knicks coaching search is David Blatt, a name that also came up the last time the Knicks were doing this just a couple of years ago. It’s reported that the Knicks will meet with Blatt in Europe this week because they’ll be over there scouting Luka Doncic. Pretty cute that Steve Mills thinks the Knicks are getting into the top-3 of the lottery. As a Knicks fan I’m actually very intrigued by Blatt. The only time we saw him in the NBA was a unique case where he was with the Cavs and dealing with LeBron/Love/Kyrie, etc. I actually think he’d be pretty good in terms of rebuilding a team as he has great success in Europe. Also throw in the fact that two of the young core members of the Knicks are European this could be a good change of pace from the typical recycled NBA coach.

Nets hire two former players to staff

The Nets went out yesterday and hired Pablo Prigioni and Tiago Splitter to their staff. Splitter was sigend to be a scout while Prigioni will be an assistant coach. Prigioni, 35 years old, played 20 years as a professional throughout Argentina, Spain and the NBA. Splitter was hired to be a pro scout and also deal with player development. The Brazilian native spent five seasons with the Spurs, where he was the most successful including winning an NBA championship. Similar to Prigioni, Splitter spent a large amount of time playing professional overseas. This is no surprise as more teams are trying to bring in recent players to the staff.

Spurs will have an all-hands-on-deck meeting with Kawhi

During a press conference last night, Danny Green talked about Kawhi still being a part of the team and being locked in. That’s apparently going to be a priority for the Spurs front office this offseason as they’ll have a meeting with Kawhi, which will be led by Pop. Everyone knows the story of Kawhi missing pretty much the entire year to injury then the whole will he play or not during the playoffs, so we won’t spend a lot of time on it. The biggest debate will be will the Spurs sign Kawhi to a max deal once his contract is up or will they trade him. Ultimately, the Spurs want to sign Kawhi as he’s a top-10 player in the league when fully healthy. If he does get the supermax deal it will be worth 5 years, $219 million. The Spurs have a bunch of decisions to make this offseason regarding salaries, but obviously none bigger than Kawhi.