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NBA Free Agency 2020: LA Lakers might turn towards DeMarcus Cousins once again as uncertainty looms over the futures of Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee

2019 NBA Finals - Game Six
2019 NBA Finals - Game Six
ANALYST
Modified 24 Oct 2020, 12:39 IST
Rumors
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After signing with the LA Lakers in the summer of 2019, DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL during the preseason workouts and did not play a single game this season. He was waived by the Lakers in February and is currently a free agent. With uncertainty looming over Cousins' future in the league, the latest NBA rumors suggest that the LA Lakers might give him another opportunity in the 2020 free agency.


NBA Free Agency 2020: Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee's future with the LA Lakers uncertain

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

The LA Lakers had one of the strongest frontcourts in the league in Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee. But things are about to change quickly for the 2020 champions, as Howard is now a free agent and McGee has the choice to opt out of his contract in the offseason.

Speaking about the LA Lakers' challenge to fill the center spot in the 2020 free agency, Bill Oram of The Athletic recently said:

"...With Howard restoring his value last season and McGee a candidate to opt out of his contract and hit free agency, it seems inevitable that the Lakers will look to Cousins."

Anthony Davis prefers to play at the 4, and the LA Lakers will need a big in case McGee and/or Howard depart. Even though there are questions about DeMarcus Cousins' durability, he can definitely be a backup center as the Los Angeles team look to make another title run.


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NBA Free Agency 2020: DeMarcus Cousins already has great chemistry with the LA Lakers' players

2019 NBA Finals - Game Five
2019 NBA Finals - Game Five

As a result of DeMarcus Cousins having played less than 80 games over the course of the last 3 years, it's easy to forget how great he was back in the day. In 2015 and 2016, the 30-year-old averaged over 26 points and 10 rebounds a game for the Sacramento Kings and made it to the All-NBA teams on both occasions.

Given the LA Lakers' cap space limitations, gambling with DeMarcus Cousins could pay off big-time in case he remains injury-free next year. He also has great chemistry with the Lakers roster, and has already played with Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo in the past.

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Speaking about DeMarcus Cousins' fit, Bill Oram added:

"He spent more than six months with the team, helping the organization evaluate any potential chemistry issues. Throughout that run, the Lakers were effusive about Cousins’ leadership presence."

While there's no dearth of demand for bigs in this offseason, teams will still be wary of offering a long-term contract to DeMarcus Cousins because of his issues with injuries. Given their recent history, the LA Lakers can take a chance on Cousins in the 2020 free agency and offer him a one-year contract as they look to defend their title.


Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: 5 players that the Phoenix Suns should target this off-season


Published 24 Oct 2020, 12:39 IST
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