DeMarcus Cousins has been one of the NBA’s best players over the past few years, but has taken his game to a new level for the New Orleans Pelicans this season. He has become a darkhorse MVP candidate, as well as being one of the best players to potentially be available ahead of the trade deadline, depending on what the Pelicans decide to do.
According to a report from NESN, the Los Angeles Lakers have set their sights on Cousins as a potential trade target ahead of the February 8 NBA trading deadline.
Cousins has put together a massive season for the Pelicans, averaging 26.2 points per game to go along with 12.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He has shot 47.9 percent from the field overall and has knocked down 35.4 percent of his three-point attempts. Adding him would be a huge step in the right direction for the Lakers if they were able to get a long-term contract done with him.
If the Lakers were to acquire Cousins, they would likely want to have a good idea of terms for an extension with him already in place. Cousins is in the final year of his contract and will hit open free agency at the end of the 2017-18 season.
DeMarcus Cousins had himself a game against the Dallas Mavericks on 12/29/2017! #DoItBig
Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has bettered this line in #NBA history… way back in 1978!!
— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) December 30, 2017
That being said, if the Lakers are confident that they could acquire Cousins, bringing him on board would be a very wise decision.
Magic Johnson and the Lakers have been busy in rumor mill already this season. Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle are both names that have come up in rumors coming out of L.A. More than likely, both of those players would be heading to New Orleans in any deal that netted them Cousins.
At 27 years of age, Cousins is in the prime of his career and has put the bad reputation of being an off-the-court problem behind him. He has not had much negative media surrounding him in New Orleans.
NESN’s report also mentions Paul George as a potential target for the Lakers at the trade deadline. He has been linked to the Lakers for a long time, but Cousins is by far the most intriguing trade option for the Lakers. Adding one of the league’s best big men to go along with a young core headlined by Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball would make the Lakers a tough team to beat moving forward.
Expect to hear plenty more rumors come out surrounding the Lakers over the next few weeks. The deadline will be here before you know it and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Lakers pursue a trade for Cousins.