The NBA will soon go into a frenzy as 2018 free agency is set to start. The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be one of the biggest players on the free agency market with LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder as their top targets. However, Marc Stein of New York Times recently revealed that George is “strongly considering” signing a two- or three-year deal to stay with the Thunder.
Despite Stein’s report, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka looked determined to use their salary cap space to land two superstars this summer. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Lakers may consider offering New Orleans Pelicans superstar DeMarcus Cousins a “short-term maximum contract” if they fail to acquire Paul George in free agency.
“DeMarcus Cousins sounds like an increasingly likely target for the Lakers on a short-term max contract now that it appears Los Angeles will lose out on Paul George, per league sources. In January 2017, LeBron James called Cousins ‘the best big man in our game.'”
With Brook Lopez expected to leave Los Angeles as an unrestricted free agent, it makes a lot of sense for the Lakers to go after DeMarcus Cousins in free agency. Cousins will undeniably be a great addition to the Lakers, giving them much-needed help at their frontcourt. In the 48 games he played last season, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
His acquisition will definitely boost the Lakers’ performance on both ends of the floor and give them a higher chance of signing LeBron James in free agency. However, it is worth noting that Cousins is still recovering from a torn Achilles and is expected to be out for the first half of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report recently reported that DeMarcus Cousins is “very likely” to re-sign with the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency. In order to convince Cousins to leave Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, the Lakers may need to give him a more attractive offer, which could be a four-year, maximum contract. This proves to be very risky for the Lakers since most players who suffer the same injury as Cousins didn’t manage to return to their best shape.
Several crazy things are expected to happen in 2018 free agency. Aside from DeMarcus Cousins, the Lakers are also expected to keep an eye on other incoming free agents like Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets.