NBA Rumor: DeMarcus Cousins Free Agency

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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.

Some within Heat opposed to signing DeMarcus Cousins

Rafael Stone: The timing was good for DeMarcus Cousins to explore other opportunities


DeMarcus Cousins back to Lakers?

A common mistake is to assume that since the Lakers cut Cousins this season, they won’t be able to re-sign him. That’s simply not the case. If rosters expand to 17 players (or if they stay at 15 and the team makes a cut), L.A. could certainly bring Cousins back for the stretch run. Perhaps the confusion is a similar rule. Had Los Angeles traded Cousins to another team and that franchise then chose to release him, the Lakers would be barred from bringing the center back as a free agent this season.
1 year ago via ESPN

DeMarcus Cousins back with Lakers?

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.

Heat interested in DeMarcus Cousins

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.

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.

No market for DeMarcus Cousins?

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.”

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.”
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