A new report indicates that when NBA play resumes on July 31, the Los Angeles Lakers could have a potentially key addition to their roster: veteran center DeMarcus Cousins.
Last summer, the Lakers had signed Cousins to a one-year contract, but a torn ACL in August 2019 originally appeared to end his chances of playing during the 2019-20 campaign. As a result, the Lakers released him when they acquired Markieff Morris.
Now, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin indicates that Cousins’ playing ability as well as his vocal presence could be reasons for the Lakers to add him to their roster.
“With the extra time off to rehab, combined with potential expanded rosters, will Cousins make his return to L.A.?” McMenamin speculated. “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.”
The past few years have been injury-plagued ones for Cousins, who also blew out his Achilles in January 2018. Yet, if he’s now fully recovered from both the Achilles and ACL injuries, he could make things interesting.
Last year, the Golden State Warriors signed Cousins, knowing that he would miss the majority of the regular season.
Cousins ended up playing in 30 regular-season games last year and started three of the Warriors’ six games in the NBA Finals. In Game 3 of that series, he contributed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while also adding six assists in a Warriors win.
If the Lakers do add Cousins, there’ll likely be some rustiness in the early going. However, if he’s anywhere close to being the four-time All-Star he’s been in the past, the Lakers could be in possession of a huge asset in helping them toward a championship.