Have some faith in Magic, goddamn it!
I know New Orleans holds his bird rights, but I thought the other new designated player rule isn't applicable on Cousins. The Pelicans can't offer him 200+ million anyway, because they traded for him and didn't draft him, but something in the range of 170/180 million. George on the other hand could sign for 200+ million.
It's still a big paycut, but playing for the Lakers (George is from Cali) with Cousins and possibily Ingram and another draft pick, under Magic and Walton seems a very good situation to be in.
I think you're slightly overestimating the potential of those younger guys, at least for Russell and Randle, in comparison with Cousins and George.
Granted there are a lot of ifs in this scenario.