With free agency in full bloom, the market for DeMarcus Cousins has not lived up to expectations. With four days having passed since the start of free agency, Cousins’ market appears to be weaker than expected. According to ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the market for Cousins is not only weak but non-existent.
In an attempt to shake things up, Cousins switched agents today and is hopeful that he will land a contract in the coming days.
Coming off an Achilles injury in January of 2018, Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors the following offseason. In 30 games played, Cousins averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Cousins didn’t show much of his former form, but even 75% of his production pre-Achilles could provide a lot of value, especially for teams used to not getting very much from the five.
Given he’s still a free agent, it’s probably in his best interest to take a one-year deal for cheap and recoup his value; that’s what he tried to do in Golden State, but the clear contrast in style hurt him more than helped him, and he suffered a quad injury right as he was starting to warm up in the playoffs. Considering this, here are three teams that should take a chance on Boogie.
San Antonio Spurs
Although Boogie’s temper and bad behavior may not seem like a good fit with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Cousins’ passing ability and presence down low could benefit San Antonio immensely. With LaMarcus Aldridge as the only true threat down low, Cousins could be a great complementary piece to a Spurs team in need of a true center.
Popovich is known to love versatile players and will certainly take advantage of Cousins’ passing skills in the Spurs system. Unlike the Warriors, the Spurs are also a slower paced team, which will benefit Cousins after he lost a lot of his speed after the last two years of rehab from leg injuries. Recently, Shams Charania reported that Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan has been in direct contract with Cousins.
Whether this ultimately means anything or not, it appears that DeRozan has been actively recruiting Cousins to the Spurs.
Los Angeles Lakers
Yes, we know that the Lakers have been linked to practically every single free agent, but this match could be a win-win for both sides. Last offseason, Cousins took a pay cut in order to sign with the Golden State Warriors. With a supposed two-year, $40 million deal on the line to return to the New Orleans Pelicans, Cousins took a one-year, $5 million deal with the Warriors instead. The biggest motivation for Cousins to sign is obvious: a chance to win an NBA title. With the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Anthony Davis this offseason and pairing him with LeBron James, they’re instantly title contenders, and potentially even favorites in the wake of Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury.
Cousins and Davis spent time together in New Orleans and were a very strong combination down low, especially on the offensive end. Although the Lakers could not afford to sign Cousins to an extensive deal, they could offer him a similar deal as the contract he signed with the Warriors last season. With the Lakers in dire need for depth and Cousins still searching for his first ring, this could be a perfect match.
After sending DeAndre Jordan to the New York Knicks last season as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal, the Dallas Mavericks were left with a hole at the center position. Although Porzingis signed a five-year extension this offseason, he will likely play power forward for the majority of his first year back; it seems unlikely the Mavs would have any desire to let the Latvian big man bang down low with the beefy centers of the league in his first season back from a torn ACL. Last year, the Mavericks turned to Dwight Powell at the center position, and while he showed flashes of potential, he has yet to establish himself as a starting-caliber center. The team also locked up Maxi Kleber for the next four years, but both players are better suited coming off the bench.
In comes Cousins.
The veteran center could provide depth to the Mavericks while also competing with Powell for the starting role. On a young team built around Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and Porzingis, Cousins’ skill set would be valuable to a Mavericks team that looks to contend this upcoming season. With KP’s extension and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee’s large contracts on the books, it would be difficult for the Mavericks to offer Cousins a substantial deal.
Unless they are able to dump one of those contracts, their most enticing offer to Cousins would be selling him on the opportunity to start for a young and up-and-coming team.