DeMarcus Cousins has gotten overshadowed a bit as one of the top free agents available in the current NBA offseason. But there have been a few NBA rumors and predictions hinting at possible new destinations for the New Orleans Pelicans big man, and even with his recent ACL injury in mind, a number of teams appear to be interested in acquiring his services. According to a former NBA team executive, the Los Angeles Lakers might be among the top candidates in the Cousins sweepstakes, though that would also mean choosing only one of the three players most frequently mentioned as potential new additions to the team — LeBron James, Paul George, or Kawhi Leonard.
Citing a Reddit post that documented his recent Sirius XM appearance, Clutch Points wrote that former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin believes that Cousins will be signing with the Lakers this offseason. The publication noted that Griffin was the same person who predicted Kyrie Irving getting traded to the Boston Celtics and that he still has connections within the NBA despite the fact he no longer works as a Cavs executive.
Although the thought of DeMarcus Cousins joining the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent sounds exciting, ClutchPoints stressed that Griffin’s statements should be taken with a grain of salt, as there hasn’t been much talk of Cousins joining the Lakers. Instead, most NBA rumors suggest that the 27-year-old center will either stay with the Pelicans or sign with the Dallas Mavericks.
Lakers will get DeMarcus Cousins plus one of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George - https://t.co/F4C6xopZeo— LakerTom (@LakerTom) June 29, 2018
Assuming Cousins does sign a free agent deal with the Lakers, there’s a good chance the team will have to decide on which top-tier new acquisition they want to add. As noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, both Paul George and LeBron James are reportedly opting out of the final year of their respective contracts, making them unrestricted free agents and possible new additions to the Lakers in 2018-19. Rumors also suggest that the Lakers are pursuing a trade with the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. However, Griffin believes that the Lakers will have to narrow things down and add only one of those superstars to their lineup.
Talking about the chances DeMarcus Cousins’ potential addition to the Lakers via free agency might affect the odds of James joining the team, Clutch Points suggested that it would mostly depend on whether Cousins “can keep his head on straight.” The publication speculated that James would be more inclined to play alongside Leonard or George, but added that a healthy Cousins could make a huge impact nonetheless, as he averaged over 25 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists per game for the New Orleans Pelicans prior to his ACL injury in January.