NBA rumors: DeMarcus Cousins clears waivers

More on DeMarcus Cousins Free Agency

There are no immediate plans to fill Cook’s roster spot, and multiple people with knowledge of the situation said they don’t expect the Lakers to reunite with Houston center DeMarcus Cousins if he becomes available as expected. The team will, however, monitor the buyout and trade markets for potential additions to their frontcourt.
Kelly Iko: John Wall on the #Rockets letting DeMarcus Cousins go: “It’s tough. Someone I call my brother. The decision that was made, that’s out of my hands. I think he did a hell of a job coming back from an injury, hopefully he’ll get another job soon.”
Bobby Marks: The Rockets are responsible for $1.6M of the $2.56M salary for DeMarcus Cousins. The NBA will reimburse Houston on the difference (roughly $950K).
Shams Charania: The Houston Rockets are releasing DeMarcus Cousins, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. This allows the four-time All-Star to find a team elsewhere and garner interest on the open market.
Shams Charania: Rockets guaranteed Cousins’ $2.3M salary for the season last week, and had positive feedback about his professional approach in 25 games for the team.
“If it is about money then that is the problem there for [the Lakers],” one general manager told Heavy.com. “Cousins never got that big second contract in the NBA. He might want to make the most money he can with this, and he can’t make much with the Lakers.”
“Just in terms of the Xs and Os, I don’t see how it goes together,” one Western Conference assistant coach said. “Gasol does not move, he gets killed in pick-and-rolls. Same thing with Boogie. Harrell is small, he does not protect the rim. So you would be adding a guy who has the same holes in his game as your other two, at least defensively.”
Barry Jackson: Heat has shown interest in Cousins before. Heat expecting to get a disabled player's exception for $4.7 M. Golden State and Brooklyn have higher disabled player's exceptions but are also well into luxury tax. Heat could use the $4.7 M when granted and not be in tax.
Kevin O'Connor: Sources: The Lakers will be among the teams to pursue DeMarcus Cousins. The market will be limited for Cousins, sources say. He has struggled this year after returning from multiple major injuries. But for LA or any team in need of big man depth, few options bring higher upside.
Shams Charania: The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Houston Rockets have guaranteed center DeMarcus Cousins' $2.3M contract for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN. Teams have until February 27 to make that decision on non-guaranteed deals.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets announce the signing of four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Per Rockets: Cousins is one of 11 players in NBA history to have career averages of 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists since the NBA began tracking assists in 73-74.
Shams Charania: Cousins will sign a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, sources said. Houston expressed interest in signing the four-time All-Star before the NBA restart in July. Cousins serves as an upside signing, and has shown focus and drive in rehab through multiple long-term injuries.
Marc J. Spears: The Rockets showed interest in DeMarcus Cousins since the beginning of free agency. The free agent big man signs a one-year contract, Cousins confirms to @TheUndefeated.
Kelly Iko: In addition to Christian Wood, the Rockets spoke with Demarcus Cousins’ camp earlier today, a source told @TheAthletic. Houston is exploring the big man market.
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.
With Davis Bertans opting out of the NBA's restart, the Washington Wizards are allowed to sign a replacement player before they head to Orlando, and they plan to do just that, NBC Sports Washington has learned. That player would be "for the short-term," according to a person familiar with their plans. And, partly because of that, they can definitively rule out center DeMarcus Cousins.
The Wizards are thinking in the immediate future and who could help them go for the playoffs when they arrive at Disney World with eight regular season games offered in the NBA's return-to-play plan. But that does not mean they are trying to replace Bertans specifically. What he does is unique, especially given his size. They could sign a different type of player and search for three-point shooting in other areas of their roster.
Wall spoke on the matter Wednesday in an Instagram Live interview with ESPN's The Undefeated. He told Marc Spears he is still lobbying for the Wizards to sign Cousins, though after years of doing so, he seems to understand full well it is probably still a pipe dream. "Oh man, you know I'm trying to push for that. I've been on that for like five years. I want to sign him right now," Wall said.
By the time the NBA returns in late July, Cousins will be less than a year removed from a very serious injury. So, it probably wouldn't be smart for Cousins to return until next year, and Wall even said that himself. "I'm like 'bro, be smart, take your time to get all the way healthy so you can show these people what you're all about,'" Wall said. "I want him to focus on that and get back to the Boogie that he was."
So is he a possibility for the Lakers? "Maybe," one Western Conference executive said. A former executive said of Cousins and the Lakers, "That's the only team. He respects [LeBron James], and he's [Anthony Davis'] boy. [Other teams] don't want that distraction. There's a small window of time to play, and you can't let up."
Another team that might want to consider Cousins would be the Los Angeles Clippers. They still have Joakim Noah on an unfortunately named 10-day contract that dates back to March 9. With the NBA freezing rosters a few days later, Noah is still on that same temporary contract. If he can earn his keep, he would give the Clippers a defensive-minded option inside, which may be more valuable than what Cousins might bring as a scoring big man.
When we last left the Lakers, Cousins -- signed last summer and subsequently lost for the season with a blown knee -- had been waived to make room for forward Markieff Morris. There is speculation the league may allow expanded playoff rosters in the bubble -- perhaps carrying 17-20 players -- in order to have more reserves available should a rash of COVID-19 cases hit. With the extra time off to rehab, combined with potential expanded rosters, will Cousins make his return to L.A.? The former All-Star center would give the Lakers the stretch 5 they missed most of the season and, with crowd noise a nonfactor in Orlando's empty arenas, he could certainly have an impact as a vocal bench presence.
ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst, on his recent podcast, expressed his thoughts what the offseason will most likely bring to big name free-agent DeMarcus Cousins. “I think DeMarcus Cousins is looking at a make good contract, even if it’s more than a minimum. I think that after a series of injuries he’s had, all of which indicates that he’s coming back too fast, doing too much, he needs even more time of coming back from this. He’s gonna have a job in the league, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big money,” the NBA insider said.
For Heat fans wondering about DeMarcus Cousins, who was released by the Lakers this week to make room for Markieff Morris, keep in mind that even though the Heat likes Cousins and pursued him last summer, there’s no indication he’s looking to leave Southern California. Cousins, who hasn’t played this season because of a torn ACL in his left knee sustained last August, continued rehabbing with the Lakers at their facility on Tuesday, and there’s nothing to preclude the Lakers from signing him before the playoffs if he’s healthy.
Well, Cousins won’t be able to do that anymore. Per league rules, he can continue his rehab with the Lakers, at their practice facility, but he can’t fly on the team plane or sit on the bench once he’s waived. But the Lakers could re-sign him this summer, something both sides have expressed interest in pursuing, sources said.

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Kyle Goon: Alex Caruso on reports about DeMarcus Cousins and handling them: " It’s the ground that comes with playing in L.A. So to be honest, it’s just every day. It’s just kind of a normal day where something comes out or you hear something. That’s kind of the NBA nowadays."
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: DeMarcus Cousins was informed yesterday by the Lakers that he would be waived. He plans to continue rehabbing ACL injury into the offseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers are waiving DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell @Ramonashelburne and me.
Bobby Marks: DeMarcus Cousins will likely not be waived until Sunday night after Markieff Morris clears waivers. He has roughly $1M left on his $3.5M contract. A claiming team would have non-bird rights and could offer him a contract up to $4.2M (or midlevel exception/cap space) as a FA.
The answer could be cutting Cousins outright. In addition to his injury, TMZ reported in August the four-time All-Star was allegedly recorded threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. Police in Mobile, Alabama, issued an arrest warrant for Cousins with a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence, per the New York Times. The team and NBA are investigating. The initial plan was to keep the injured big man under contract for as long as possible, perhaps using his salary in trade later in the year (after December 15), but releasing him was always on the table should the team find the opportunity to replace him with a player who will further L.A.'s title chances. Cousins, if cut, could rehab with the team (with the NBA's permission). Perhaps the domestic allegations will cause the Lakers to seek distance and cut him outright, but that's still unknown.
Agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports told ESPN Cousins' deal is worth $2.3 million.
Candace Buckner: I’m hearing that #Wizards interim president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard spoke briefly with free agent DeMarcus Cousins recently in Las Vegas. The conversation was described as just small talk but still — a very interesting development.
During an interview with NBA TV, The Athletic's Shams Charania spoke on why Cousins is still without a team. He then said Cousins has been in contact with several players including DeRozan. "There are several teams that are intrigued by DeMarcus Cousins." "I'm told he has had direct communication with several star players from other teams. One being DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs."
Mike Fisher: SOURCES: #Mavs do not plan bid on Boogie Cousins in Free Agency 247sports.com/nba/mavericks/…
However, it appears teams are thinking twice in signing him after he also went down with an injury during their 2019 NBA Playoffs campaign, raising question marks about his health. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN recently revealed that the market is not looking good for the All-Star center. “There’s not a market for him,” Wojnarowski said of Cousins. ” I think he hoped that some big market teams would strike out, they’d have cap space and he could get a one-year, $12M, $15M, $18M, $20 million deal. That’s not happening. The mid-level exception he got in Golden State last year? I don’t think that’s there.”
DeMarcus Cousins sat at his locker inside Oracle Arena after the Golden State Warriors lost the 2019 NBA Finals and contemplated his uncertain future. While the four-time All-Star enjoyed his lone season with the Warriors, getting paid this summer will likely mean finding a new team. “I don’t know. I’m open-minded. We will see what happens,” Cousins told The Undefeated about the possibility of returning to Golden State.
Seven NBA teams have expressed interest of varying levels in Cousins, according to a source. The New York Knicks have serious interest in Cousins, a source said. The Los Angeles Clippers are also intrigued, a source said. Both teams have significant cap space.
According to the New York Times, the Knicks have mulled a one-year max offer for center DeMarcus Cousins, but an NBA source said the interest is mild. According to a source, team president Steve Mills wants players who fit the bill of being able to tutor their young players.
Other free agents on the Knicks’ radar include their own free-agent center DeAndre Jordan, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins and twins Markieff and Marcus Morris. New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle and the Knicks also have mutual interest, according to sources.
And Cousins would never be more needed. Fresh, you’d assume, off a summer to get his body in a better place, Cousins would step into a much higher usage role if he returned, no longer ceding shots to Thompson and Durant. That could be appealing to both sides. “I’m open,” Cousins said. “I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here, if he wanted to come back,” Kerr said. “But it’s about his goals, what’s out there for him.”
Once Cousins becomes a free agent this summer, though, he suggested he may want to ride this roller coaster again. “I’m open,” Cousins said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Warriors have never expected to re-sign Cousins simply because they could only pay him about $6.3 million because of salary cup rules. While the verdict is out on Cousins’ market value, it is likely the Warriors might be priced about. Then again…. “It was a weird summer last summer. So you never know how things work out,” Cousins said. “I’m open and I’ll make the best decision for myself and my family. We’ll see which way the wind blows.”
What did Cousins learn? He did not share specifics other than he learned more about his himself, his craft, the Warriors organization and how the business operates. Cousins hoped the general public learned a few things about him, though. “I’m a team guy. I can sacrifice and do what’s best for the team. I control the things I can control. Ill be ready when my name is called upon,” Cousins said. “This is what I’ve always wanted. I’m grateful to be able to say I got to be in this moment. It was a lot of fun. This atmosphere is incredible. I look forward to being in it again whatever that may be. I really enjoyed it.”
Shaun Livingston, meanwhile, is openly contemplating retirement at 33. Andrew Bogut, 34, is headed back to the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League. DeMarcus Cousins is headed for free agency, too, but is widely considered unlikely to return.
Joe Lacob: My great hope is that Klay, as with Draymond and – frankly – KD; all of them who are guys that you’re referring to. …And frankly, I love DeMarcus Cousins too. I mean, he’s another guy who (he’d like to keep). (But) we can only do what we can do within the framework of the collective bargaining agreement. We really like our players – each and every one of them. Draymond has been with us since the beginning. There’s a certain place in my heart for him. Same with Klay. And all I was trying to say by that is that I really personally like them a lot for what they bring to the table. That’s a personal comment, and I really want to see them stay – to be Warriors for life and hopefully build statues for them.
Connor Letourneau: If DeMarcus Cousins is done for the postseason, his chances of re-signing with the Warriors would go up significantly. Have to think the free-agency market for an injured Cousins would be tepid, at best.
Or it may end this summer, when Cousins, Durant and Thompson are all expected to be free agents (assuming Durant opts out of the $31.5 million last year on his contract). The players may agree to stay together or choose to seek out other challenges. The buzz from various executives, scouts and media members suggests that Durant is ready to move on. Thompson, if offered the max, will stay. If not, he too could exit. The Warriors may not be able to match market value for Cousins.
"Not many of these wings or point guards are going to want to partner with LeBron," said an assistant GM. "LeBron's best chance at getting another star with him is going to be Anthony Davis, Boogie Cousins, the bigs."

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I've heard rumors that Cousins might re-sign with the Warriors next year in order for them to get Bird rights so he can get bigger money in 2020. What have you heard Mr. Thompson? Marcus Thompson: I've heard Cousins is really happy and that bodes well for the chances of him taking a pay cut again. Still slim, I'd say.
Nate Duncan: "For the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, Boston and Los Angeles are in there...Are there any other teams outside of those two that could realistically get in that mix?" Chris Haynes: "No team is concrete. Obviously there's some teams looking and lurking. L.A. Clippers, they're being really aggressive out there. They're looking at Kawhi Leonard. They're looking at Kevin Durant. Obviously they're monitoring the Anthony Davis situation, they're monitoring DeMarcus Cousins - seeing how he's gonna progress through the achilles injury."
Allow me to also pass on one of the wildest predictions I’ve heard lately, from one wise insider, who thinks even DeMarcus Cousins will consider re-upping with the Warriors for one more season despite the (comparatively) minuscule raise they can offer on Cousins’ current $5.3 million salary.
Cousins’ doesn’t. It isn’t a secret. His time with them will be brief. The Warriors are the powerful trampoline to the payday he had ripped away by last season’s nightmare injury. Cousins is the brass knuckles under Mike Tyson’s boxing glove, the extra force they can use to bully toward a fourth title. “I honestly don’t think about (free agency),” Cousins said. “I’m focused on becoming healthy. That’s my main focus right now. After that, it’s helping this team make another run. Everything that’s going to happen in the summer, I’ll wait until the summer.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr made it clear on Thursday that the team won't have the money to re-sign center DeMarcus Cousins next summer. On Friday, his general manager wasn't so quick to shut the door. Bob Myers told Greg Papa on "Warriors Pregame Live" that he would not rule out Cousins' return to Golden State next summer.
"Options are open, Pap, like anything," Myers said Friday evening. "If you would've asked me a year ago before this if he was gonna be an option for us, I'd say, 'No way, that's crazy!' But he came. He came for a lot less than [what] his market value was. "These type of predictions -- good or bad -- are pretty fruitless because you just don't know. You don't know what's going to be going on on July 1, 2019. You don't know if it's going to be better than you think ... but it's not going to be what you think. So, with a guy like DeMarcus, who knows? If he wants to come back, let's bring him back."
Logan Murdock: Steve Kerr on DeMarcus' 1-year deal with the W's:“We made no bones about it when we signed him. This is a 1-year deal and we're not going to have money to sign him next year so we'd like to help him win a championship and sign a great contract somewhere else. That's the reality."
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April 12, 2021 | 1:52 am EDT Update
The result prevented the Mavericks from sweeping a season series from the Spurs for the first time in the rivalry’s 41-season history — but more importantly, it was a stinging defeat for the Mavericks (29-23) in their ongoing quest to climb into the top six in the Western Conference. Instead of winning for the seventh time in their last eight games, the Mavericks fell to a Texas rival for the second time in four days. Houston and San Antonio are otherwise winless in April, making the two defeats all the more damaging. “He made a hell of a shot, over a good defender,” Luka Doncic said of DeRozan.
“Going for the block, in my head I saw that clearly I was going to get the block,” Porzingis said. “But he’s good at leaning back and I hit his head a little bit. It’s a tough one, obviously. I wanted to be out there. Even with everything we had a chance to win the game. Doncic (29 points, seven assists) tied the score at 117 on a shot from the lane with 19.4 seconds left, setting up DeRozan’s heroics. “DeMar hit a huge shot,” Porzingis said. “Hat’s off to him. That just shows how hard it is to win every night, against an NBA team.”
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