So with Paul George appearing to spurn the Los Angeles Lakers to stay in Oklahoma City, could the Lakers be looking at DeMarcus Cousins now?

That scenario is probably the last thing the New Orleans Pelicans want to hear, especially after they thought they were going to be able to work out a discount deal with Cousins, due to his season-ending injury last year.

But the rumors around the Lakers are getting louder, and the Paul George thing has changed the outlook of free agency. So could the Lakers be aiming for Cousins?

Sounds like it's happening...but it could be tricky.

TheRigner.com puts together a very compelling argument for why the Lakers need Cousins...because he's could be the key to signing LeBron James:

"Signing Boogie Cousins could be a sweetener for LeBron. In January 2017, James called Boogie, “the best big man in our game.” LeBron’s praise of Cousins came before the New Orleans big man had suffered a major injury, but sources say he remains interested by the idea of playing with Boogie. The Pelicans unrestricted free agent center received a call from the Lakers at the start of free agency and is expected to schedule meetings with the Lakers and Pelicans, The Undefeated’s Marc Spears reported Sunday. Boogie’s fit with James is intriguing, if Cousins returns to form, or near form."

But where would that leave the New Orleans Pelicans?

They actually played better last year without Cousins. After his injury, Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday turned it on, and with Superstar franchise player Anthony Davis, they were able to win an NBA Playoff series for the first time in years. But Rondo is a free agent, and Davis could be planning his exit from New Orleans already. So the team needs to do something to keep this together.

Keeping Cousins would be the best move for the Pels, and overpaying what they wanted to spend might have to happen. Because unlike New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, players still view the Big Easy as a small market team, which means less face-time nationally. For example, how big of a star would Davis be if he was in a Knicks jersey?

So now here's the fight: Lakers, Pelicans, and maybe even a darkhorse, like the Dallas Mavericks. We just have to wait it out.