DeMarcus Cousins was putting together one of the best seasons of his career for the New Orleans Pelicans this season before going down with a torn Achilles. He was headed for a big offseason with the opportunity to test the free agency market. Before the injury, there was no question that Cousins would get a max contract, but now it appears that teams are preparing to offer him less money.
One of the teams that were expected to be interested in Cousins was the Los Angeles Lakers. They are expected to pursue multiple big names this offseason with all the money that they will have to spend. That being said, it appears that the Lakers may not be interested in Cousins anymore.
According to a report shared by Lakers Nation, the Lakers may not pursue Cousins this offseason even if they don’t sign either Paul George or LeBron James.
Cousins ended his 2017-18 campaign with big numbers across the board. He averaged 25.2 points per game to go along with 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. In addition to those numbers, Cousins shot 47.0 percent from the field overall and knocked down 35.4 percent from behind the three-point arc.
A healthy Cousins is without question one of the most dominant big men in the NBA. Coming back from an Achilles injury won’t be easy for the 6-foot-11, 270-pound center. Cousins may see many teams lose interest in signing him, but he should be more focused on finding the right fit, not necessarily about big money.
Signing a one-year deal to prove that he can bounce back from his injury would be the best move that Cousins can make. If he has a huge year in 2018-19, Cousins would be able to cash in during free agency next offseason.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) April 24, 2018
Los Angeles could certainly use some help at the center position. Brook Lopez is heading into free agency, which will leave the Lakers without a starting center on their roster. Cousins would certainly fill that role, but the Lakers may not be interested in taking a gamble on him.
Even if the Lakers don’t spend big money this offseason, they have quite a few potential free agent targets in 2019. Many believe that Kawhi Leonard will be a trade target this offseason, but he could also be a free agency target after next season.
All of that being said, it will be interesting to see what ends up happening with Cousins this offseason. He has remained very confident that he will come back stronger than ever, but that may not convince teams to sign him. There will be some offers on the table, but they may not be for the kind of money he wants or for the team he wants to play for.