DeMarcus Cousins has been an active subject of NBA Trade Rumors lately since news broke that he would be released by the Houston Rockets in the coming week. The former Sacramento Kings man is still a capable offensive player and has a skill set that is uncommon among most frontcourt players in the NBA.
Defending champions, the LA Lakers are among the teams linked with DeMarcus Cousins. In this article, we make a case for and against the 17-time NBA champions making a move for the former All-Star.
NBA Trade Rumors: Should the LA Lakers make a swoop for DeMarcus Cousins?
DeMarcus Cousins has had a forgettable 2020-21 NBA season so far, tallying just 9.6 rebounds and 7.6 rebounds per game. That's the main reason for the Houston Rockets being willing to let him go. NBA teams that have a vacant roster spot at the center position will now have an opportunity to acquire the former Golden State Warriors man.
The LA Lakers have been strongly linked with DeMarcus Cousins, as the reigning champions not having a solid option at the 5. Marc Gasol has been an underwhelming presence in the paint on both ends and Rob Pelinka and co. are looking for an upgrade.
Cousins has a better offensive record than Gasol, and is also a 4-time NBA All-Star and 2-time All-NBA. His resume speaks for itself and his improved recent performances with the Houston Rockets are trending up. In his last 14 games, DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 12.4 points on 44.6 percent shooting. In what could be his final outing as a Houston Rockets player, he put up 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
However, one big issue with DeMarcus Cousins is his injury history and there are still doubts whether he will be able to remain fit consistently. The big man tore his Achilles in 2018 in a game against Golden State Warriors and hasn't been the same player since then.
Another reason that works against DeMarcus Cousins is that his skill-set is similar to that of Marc Gasol. Both the centers are offensive specialists and the LA Lakers need a player who can protect the rim. The 2020 NBA Champions parted ways with the athletic duo of Dwight Howard and Javale McGee in the offseason, which has affected the defensive balance of the championship contenders.
NBA Trade Tumors have linked LA Lakers with other bigs like Andre Drummond, who is a more traditional center, as well. DeMarcus Cousins is an excellent offensive player, but the LA Lakers will be better off signing someone like Drummond or a specialist rim protector at this juncture of the season.