NBA rumors: Nuggets strongly interested in bringing DeMarcus Cousins back

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Michael Singer: Tim Connelly: "Boogie was fantastic. He brought a ton." Said they'll have discussions about his future in short order.
After the Nuggets were eliminated, the 31-year-old admitted that he isn't sure whether he’ll be back in Denver. “I honestly don't know what the future holds,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “A lot in this short time has transpired. I'm still trying to get over the fact that G.P. (Gary Payton II) hit that big shot, right? I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity. I'm happy to be a part of this group. I'm happy with the opportunity that was given to me from Mike, [Nuggets president] Tim [Connelly], [Nuggets general manager Calvin] Booth. To answer that question, I can't right now. I don't know what's future holds.”
DeMarcus Cousins admits: He thought about quitting. “A lot of doors closed,” Cousins says. Houston, where Cousins played 25 games in 2020-21, was rock bottom. “It was horrible,” Cousins said. “A lot of teams promise you one thing, will tell you something in your face, and when the time comes around, no phone calls, they go silent. They tell you one thing and then tell your agent another. It's just a lot of bulls---. There's a lot of bulls--- in this business, and in my eyes, a lot of it's unfair. But it is what it is.”
The money disappeared. Interest from teams dried up. A player once considered one of the NBA’s best centers struggled to earn 10-day contracts. “It's crazy, you do so much and then leave,” Cousins told SI. “You've proven yourself year after year, and once you hit the end of that adversity, they just kind of give up on you. You know, I look at some of my other peers, and they went through similar situations and they can bounce back and still get the same opportunities. I mean, I would be lying to say it doesn't suck, but these are the cards I've been dealt, and all I can do is deal with it to the best of my ability.”
Cousins will be a free agent again this summer. He says he has enjoyed his time in Denver and would like to come back. But he admits he still pines for a bigger role. He hopes his stint in Denver has shown the league that, at 31, he still has a lot left. “I feel great,” Cousins says. “I know I'm healthy again, I know my body can hold up to everything I'm trying to do out there to play at a high level. I'm grateful for this opportunity, and I appreciate Mike giving me a chance, believing in my talents. We'll see what happens.”
DeMarcus Cousins: Then Milwaukee came around. I thought I had found a home. Everything went smoothly. Another situation where I still don’t really understand that situation. They say it was for financial flexibility that [I was waived]. I’m not buying it. So, I don’t know. I’ve always been a firm believer everything happens for a reason, so this place [Denver] found me, and it’s been good. It’s been a good fit on both sides. They appreciate my value. It’s mostly been smooth since then.
DeMarcus Cousins: That same night that they cut me I ended up hurting my calf that night as well, so I ended up with a calf strain. I didn’t even shower. I didn’t even take off my uniform before they told me they were cutting me. It’s just that side of the business that people will never really understand. [NBA teams are] just brutal as f—. It’s brutal, man. And then the weird part about it, the part that sucks the most, they can give you whatever excuse they want. They can give the media, the public whatever excuse they want and then not even be the truth. And you’ll know for yourself that it’s bull—-.
Shams Charania: Sources: The Denver Nuggets are planning to sign center DeMarcus Cousins to a rest-of-season contract in the coming days. Cousins’ final 10-day expired over the weekend. He’s averaged 6.1 points and 6.3 rebounds with Denver, where he’s reunited with Michael Malone.
Ryan Blackburn: The Nuggets have not signed DeMarcus Cousins yet. He is not on the roster for tonight's game against the New York Knicks. It can of course change going forward, but it will be very interesting to see how the Nuggets handle backup center. They've been rumored to want an upgrade.
Adam Mares: DeMarcus Cousins on his future: I would love to be here. I think it’s a great fit. Both sides benefit from it and I think can be the extra piece to push us over the top.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins will sign a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets today, sources tell ESPN. Denver has six games in the stretch, beginning vs. Memphis and Detroit on Friday and Sunday.
Harrison Wind: Michael Malone today on @AltitudeSR: “If (DeMarcus Cousins) becomes a member of this Nugget team at some point, obviously you’d be adding a terrific player. I think his short stint in Milwaukee is proof of that. He went to the defending world champions and played lights out.”
Michael Singer: Can confirm @Shams Charania reporting: Barton has entered protocols, James Ennis will be signed to a 10-day COVID exception, and DeMarcus Cousins, later this week, will likely sign on a 10-day injury exception. One more: #Nuggets assistant Popeye Jones has entered H&S protocols.
Marc J. Spears: Cousins is expected to meet with Nuggets president Tim Connelly before a contract is officially offered, according to sources. Cousins also played for Nuggets head coach Michael Malone with the Sacramento Kings and had a solid relationship with him.
Shams Charania: The Milwaukee Bucks plan to waive center DeMarcus Cousins, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . Bucks are opting for roster flexibility ahead of league-wide contract guarantee date Friday. There’s expected to be interest in Cousins as a free agent.
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins, 31, is a 10-year NBA veteran with averages of 20.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocked shots in 606 career regular season games for the Kings, Pelicans, Warriors, Rockets and Clippers.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bucks kept an open roster spot, needed size and will bring Cousins into a strong culture on a non-guaranteed deal. Cousins played well for Clippers in significant stretches a season ago, and stayed in shape awaiting an opportunity. Now Cousins gets a deal on the defending champs.
DeMarcus Cousins: #NewProfilePic
According to a media report, a source revealed that five CBA teams have asked for DeMarcus Cousins’ resume, and three of them are very interested in Cousins. One is a CBA team with strong financial resources. But whether the contract can be reached in the end is not yet known.
Marcus Morris: Let’s get it!
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Clippers plan to sign center DeMarcus Cousins, pending clearance of NBA health and safety protocols, multiple sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Shot-blocker Hassan Whiteside could still be bought out by Sacramento and seems to fit Thibodeau’s rim-protecting mold. The Knicks have at the least discussed Cousins despite his baggage. Thibodeau prefers for this group a defensive center alongside All-Star power forward Julius Randle, and wasn’t sure Drummond was the right fit after he and brass viewed film over the last few weeks. The Knicks ultimately will have plenty of cap room on Draft Night to potentially facilitate a deal.
League sources say they have interest in free agent DeMarcus Cousins, but Drummond is their preference if he gets bought out. Drummond has been benched while the Cavaliers seek a trade, but there’s doubt around the league that they’ll be able to find one due to his massive $28.8 million salary.
Center DeMarcus Cousins, whose stock is low, is still a free agent after being unceremoniously waived by Houston. “That’s a Leon question,’’ Thibodeau said before the game. “We have more than enough on the roster so we’ll figure out a way. We have guys that can play multiple positions and then we’re going to have to take care of the rebounding, gang rebound. Everyone has to contribute in that area.’’
Howard Beck: I talked to a couple of scouts of Washington recently, and one of the things that struck them was like he's basically out there jacking up shots, and he's jacking up long distance shots. He's not even trying inside.
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 “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."
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August 8, 2022 | 8:04 pm EDT Update
The NBA informed teams Monday that players still need to have either received a primary course of a COVID-19 vaccine or been given a medical clearance from getting one in order to play games in Canada, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN. The memo also states that, should players be ineligible to play in games in Canada, teams must list them as, “Out – Health and Safety Protocols,” and that they will lose their pay for any games missed due to not being vaccinated.
This season, the Raptors will play at least 44 games in Canada: preseason games in Edmonton against the Utah Jazz; Montreal against the Boston Celtics; and Toronto against the Chicago Bulls; plus their typical 41 regular-season home games at Scotiabank Arena and any additional playoff games. The same rules apply both to going to Canada to play in a game, as well as for entering the United States. Anyone playing for the Raptors, therefore, would have to be vaccinated in order to play in any game this season. Last season, the Raptors were fully vaccinated.
A few of Fox’s peers also attended the wedding including Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair and Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum. Former Kentucky Wildcats Bam Adebayo and Wenyen Gabriel, who was also Fox’s teammate in Sacramento, attended the wedding. Adebayo and Gabriel were two of the groomsmen at the ceremony.