DeMarcus Cousins Is On The Move

Where is DeMarcus Cousins heading next year? After spending his first six seasons in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, he has spent the last three years bouncing between the Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State Warriors and most recently, the NBA Champion LA Lakers, where he was waived prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. The former four-time All-Star was a force to reckon with in his pre-injury days, as seen here

Despite his well-documented health issues (ACL, Achilles, Quad), which team is going to take a calculated risk on the big man with career averages of 21.2/10.9/3.2 plus 1+ steal/block per game? Can he reclaim his former glory? Can he put a championship contender over the top? In 30 games with Golden State during the 2018-19 seasons he put up 16.3/8.2/3.6 in a limited role. And while those numbers are down from his lofty career averages, they're still more than respectable. If he can play to those averages again – or perhaps be even better – he would be a serious asset to any team, especially given his present-day market value. Consider his last two contracts:

  • 2018-2019 – $5.3M/1 year (GS Warriors)
  • 2019-2020 – $3.5M/1 year (LA Lakers)

Those are cap-friendly numbers for any team in the league who is willing to risk getting a few good years out of post-prime Boogie. Of course, one thing teams will have to consider is his attitude on the court. Besides his prodigious talent, he hasn’t been known to be a great teammate, has a penchant for being disruptive and for racking up technical fouls.  

With all of that in mind, let’s peer into our crystal ball and take a look at three teams rumored to be interested in Boogie’s services:

  • Washington Wizards – the team was close to signing him heading into the bubble, but ultimately chose not to as they felt Cousins wasn’t quite ready coming off his torn ACL. This could be a long-term fit for Cousins though, as his defensive rebounding and slick passing could spearhead a fast break led by John Wall and Bradley Beal. He would be a solid second option on offence behind Beal, who emerged as one of the NBA’s top scorers last year. With Dāvis Bertāns more than likely moving on from Washington this offseason, Boogie would help fill the void, and then some. A move to Washington would also allow Cousins to play heavy minutes and showcase his skills and health. The Wizards aren't exactly a team with tons of depth, so he would be relied upon heavily. Would his body hold up? Something else to keep in mind: he and Wall were teammates at Kentucky and are close friends - Wall has been trying to get Wizards management to go after Cousins for some time now. 
  • Toronto Raptors – With the Raptors losing Marc Gasol to to his homeland of Spain, is it possible for them to backfill the role with Boogie? Stylistically, post-injury bug Boogie and Gasol may play fairly similar games – a big bodied plus-defender, point-forward with a high basketball IQ, coupled with the ability and willingness to share the ball. Cousins should be able to replicate, if not surpass, the numbers that Gasol has left behind. He has the ability to stretch the floor by shooting the three and could operate in tandem with Serge Ibaka just like The Big Burrito, which could cut his risk of injury down significantly. In Toronto, he would more than likely have to burden more of the offensive load given the Raptors don’t quite have that one, go-to-guy quite yet. One question, can he bring the toughness, intangibles and leadership to a team that has already experienced the championship grind?
  • LA Lakers – Why not re-sign with your team from a year ago, who just so happen to be the defending champs? Sure, the Lakers cut Cousins mid-season, but it's been reported that the Lakers are interested in having him back. LBJ and AD would still be option 1a & 1b on offence, so he could slide right in and be a comfortable 3rd option, while being able to spot up for wide-open threes and gobble up offensive boards. On the defensive end, he could matchup with Western Conference bigs like Nikola Jokić, Rudy Gobert, LaMarcus Aldridge and allow AD to double, or be a floater/rim protector. It’s unfortunate we never got to see this unfold during the 2019-20 season, so why not try it again?
  • Wildcard: New York Knicks – expect anything from the James Dolan-owned Knicks. They might offer Cousins the keys to MSG, and he might just take them.
Photo Credit: Prensa Internacional/Zumapress/Icon Sportswire