Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Not many NBA teams currently project to have maximum-salary cap room this offseason, but for those teams with space, DeMarcus Cousins figures to be a top target. Appearing on Nate Duncan’s Dunc’d On Podcast this week, Marc Stein of The New York Times identified the Mavericks and Lakers as two teams expected to push the Pelicans for Cousins, though he cautioned that New Orleans still looks like the front-runner.

“I think most teams around the league believe that the Pelicans will re-sign Cousins unless he doesn’t want to stay there,” Stein said, according to RealGM. “I think the Pelicans are the clear favorites. Now, I would say there’s an expectation – and maybe it’s even speculation on the part of rival teams – but I’ve heard Dallas and the Lakers mentioned most frequently. Those are teams that are expected, whatever ‘expected’ means, to make a run at him.”

The Lakers figure to have enough room for at least one max player, if not two, but as Stein acknowledges, LeBron James and/or Paul George may rank higher than Cousins on L.A.’s list of potential targets. As for the Mavs, options for Wesley Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki would cut into their space significantly, but the team may still have enough flexibility to put a max offer on the table. Noting that there has been Cousins-related chatter for a while in Dallas, Stein suggests that a pursuit of the big man “would be a very Mark Cuban move.”

While it’s worth surveying the potential free agency landscape for Cousins, it’s probably still too early to get a real sense of which teams will pursue him most aggressively and where he could realistically land. The Pelicans’ success – or lack thereof – during the rest of the 2017-18 season figures to play a major part in the 27-year-old’s summer decision. New Orleans will also be able to offer more years and more money than any other team.

Cousins is currently in the midst of perhaps his best all-around season, averaging an impressive 25.5 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 BPG and 1.5 SPG to go along with a .474/.356/.749 shooting line.

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This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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QUIZ: Name the player who scored the most points in one game for every NBA franchise

How many players who have scored the most points in one game during the regular season for every NBA franchise can you name in five minutes?

Good luck!

CLUE: TEAM / POINTS / YEAR

Note: An asterisk (*) indicates that the player set the record while the franchise was located in a different city. 

Score:
0/35
Time:
5:00
ATL / 57 / 1969
Lou Hudson
ATL / 57 / 1986
Dominique Wilkins
BK / 57 / 2012*
Deron Williams
BOS / 60 / 1985
Larry Bird
CHA / 52 / 2016
Kemba Walker
CHI / 69 / 1990
Michael Jordan
CLE / 57 / 2015
Kyrie Irving
CLE / 57 / 2017
LeBron James
DAL / 53 / 2004
Dirk Nowitzki
DEN / 73 / 1978
David Thompson
DET / 57 / 2001
Jerry Stackhouse
GSW / 100 / 1962*
Wilt Chamberlain
HOU / 57 / 1978
Calvin Murphy
IND / 57 / 1992
Reggie Miller
LAC / 52 / 1974,76*
Bob McAdoo
LAC / 52 / 1990
Charles Smith
LAL / 81 / 2006
Kobe Bryant
MEM / 45 / 2007
Mike Miller
MIA / 61 / 2014
LeBron James
MIL / 57 / 2006
Michael Redd
MIN / 52 / 2015
Mo Williams
NO / 59 / 2016
Anthony Davis
NYK / 62 / 2014
Carmelo Anthony
OKC / 58 / 1974*
Fred Brown
OKC / 58 / 2017
Russell Westbrook
ORL / 62 / 2004
Tracy McGrady
PHI / 62 / 1968
Wilt Chamberlain
PHX / 70 / 2017
Devin Booker
POR / 59 / 2017
Damian Lillard
SA / 71 / 1994
David Robinson
SAC / 56 / 1964*
Oscar Robertson
SAC / 56 / 2016
DeMarcus Cousins
TOR / 52 / 2018
DeMar DeRozan
UTAH / 68 / 1977*
Pete Maravich
WAS / 60 / 2006
Gilbert Arenas
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