DeMarcus Amir Cousins is an American professional basketball player, nicknamed “Boogie”. On July 6, 2019, he signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Lakers waived Cousins on February 23, 2020 due to his injury.
Cousins cleared waivers on Tuesday, and while he’s not on the Lakers’ roster anymore, he was getting shots up at the UCLA Health Training Center with the team’s coaching staff earlier in the day. That’s because NBA rules allow a waived player to continue to their injury rehabilitation using their most recent team’s facilities. However, while it is a formality, the Lakers are happy that they were able to add talent to their roster and keep Cousins around the team.
It’s unclear whether Cousins wants to do that, however. While Charania reports Cousins won’t return, his agent, Jeff Schwartz, said that he was still weighing his options, Cousins has not ruled out signing with a team for the season resume.
According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times: “Cousins could have an opportunity to officially be part of an NBA team again this week. He has not ruled out signing with a team to finish out the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla., according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz. But it would have to be a situation in which he feels comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab.”
Cousins has been limited by injuries the past couple of seasons. He tore his Achilles with the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2017-18 season, spent much of the following year rehabbing the injury with the Warriors and signed with the Lakers last July looking to prove he could still play at a high level. A month later, Cousins tore his ACL, after he was signed by the Lakers in July. That was his second serious injury in two years, after he tore an Achilles tendon in January 2018 and missed the rest of the season for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Former Los Angeles Lakers big man DeMarcus Cousins could be a significant addition to any team looking to make a deep run in the playoffs once the NBA season returns. While multiple teams have shown interest in signing Cousins, the four-time All Star may sit out the remainder of the season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Cousins is still recovering after his serious injury last August. If the NBA resumes its season in July, Cousins would be nearly a year removed from the injury. In a best-case scenario, Cousins would be healthy enough to help a team down the stretch.
When he was in his prime, Cousins was among the best players in the NBA. Even if he’s lost the ability to put up elite numbers every single night, Cousins’ past dominance should be enough to make teams interested in the offseason. Several players have ruled out the possibility to play in Orlando in order to rehab (John Wall, Kevin Durant) or prevent serious injuries that may cost them in the upcoming free agency (Davis Bertans).