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, 29, is still recovering after tearing his ACL 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.
It’s unclear whether Cousins wants to do that, however. While Charania reports Cousins won’t return, Cousins’ agent, Jeff Schwartz, told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times Cousins was still weighing his options. If Cousins comes back, “It would have to be a situation in which he feels comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab,” according to Ganguli.
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.
Given the nature of that injury — and the grueling recovery process — it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise Cousins is iffy about returning during a shortened season during a pandemic. By sitting out, Cousins has more time to recover, and can prep for a typical NBA season.
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.
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