NBA Free Agency: 3 reasons why the New York Knicks should not sign DeMarcus Cousins
The New York Knicks have been somewhat of a disaster as a franchise for quite some time. There have been playoff appearances over the last two decades but none worth mentioning even when the great Carmelo Anthony was part of their roster between 2011-2017.
One of their major flaws has always been succumbing to media pressure and a rabid fanbase in a large sports market hungry for stars and consistent success. Their front office has tried to appease that appetite by bringing in players via trade or free agency with big names, who are ultimately beyond their expiration date on health and talent - usually resulting in a roster with declining talent and a swelling payroll.
Back in the 06/07 campaign, their total payroll was $117m - nearly $30m higher than the Dallas Mavericks, despite only winning 33 games that season. That was worsened by a salary cap of $53.1m at the time, meaning they were severely over budget with no reward.
Ultimately, they have failed to make good player payroll decisions. Now though in 2017, having drafted Duke University's RJ Barrett with the third overall pick in this month's draft, they have between $69-72.5m worth of cap room to spend.
One free agent prospect is DeMarcus Cousins. With high-profile free agents Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both sidelined through serious injuries, should they gamble on Cousins if Kyrie Irving goes to Brooklyn? The answer is no and here are three reasons why they must look elsewhere for talent this offseason:
#3 Cousins is injury-prone and not exactly reliable
At this stage of his NBA career, it's fair to say Cousins is injury-prone. Originally drafted by the Sacramento Kings back in 2010, he has been a standout performer in the league - partly given his immense basketball talent, while also for his bullish attitude.
What makes him a poor free agent signing for the Knicks though, is his health. At just 28-years-old, he has never played a full 82-game schedule and we're already nine years into his tenure in the league. He played 81 games in his rookie season, but it's been downhill and laden with inconsistencies since then.
As of the 2017/18 season, where he played just 48 games for the New Orleans Pelicans, he sustained a serious Achilles tendon injury. He returned to action nearly a year later with the Golden State Warriors this January, playing 30 regular-season matches. But just when he looked healthy and poised to be a prominent member of a potential three-peat championship side, his injury woes appeared again - suffering a quadriceps problem which sidelined him again.
Ultimately, he played in eight of the Warriors' 22 playoff games, starting in five. If the Knicks were to sign him, it would be wise to have him spend more time rehabbing than playing regularly during the first year of his new contract. For a team that won just 17 times in the 2018/19 season, signing Cousins to a bumper multi-year deal would prove detrimental to the team while potentially hampering their cap flexibility in future too.