LeBron James is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, and DeMarcus Cousins may soon follow.
On Sunday, reports indicated that LeBron would be taking his talents to Hollywood on what Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter would be a four-year, $154 million deal. This ended more than a year of rumors that LeBron would be headed to the Lakers, and the deal may kick off even more fireworks for the Lakers.
The next-biggest free agent prize will now be DeMarcus Cousins, who has already heard from the Lakers along with the New Orleans Pelicans since free agency began at the stroke of midnight on Sunday. Just hours before LeBron’s decision leaked, The Ringer noted that the Lakers had the inside track on Cousins as well.
DeMarcus Cousins would be a great fit alongside LeBron James, the report noted.
“Boogie’s fit with James is intriguing if Cousins returns to form, or near form. Like Chris Bosh and Kevin Love, Cousins can space the floor from 3, and he can also play down low. Skinny Love isn’t the bruiser inside like he once was, but Cousins can still toss bodies. James has never played with a big exactly like Cousins—a superior ball handler in the open court to Bosh and Love. Cousins could alleviate the pressure off James as an initiator of the offense and a pick-and-roll ball handler—provided James is willing to give up the rock—while playing at a slower offensive pace, with a physically brutal style of play.”
New Orleans Pelicans All-Star free agent center DeMarcus Cousins received calls from the Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers tonight once free agency began and is expected to have meetings scheduled with both teams soon, a source told ESPN's The Undefeated.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 1, 2018
The Los Angeles Lakers would certainly have the capital to sign Cousins, especially after Paul George opted to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder rather than make his expected move to Los Angeles. The Lakers have been planning for this offseason for years, shedding cap space in order to sign two of the top free agents.
Could Kawhi Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins be next in LA? You know LeBron is going out west with a Big 3 in mind. I would bet on it.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 2, 2018
Cousins becomes an even more attractive option given that the San Antonio Spurs are not rushing to trade Kawhi Leonard. With his destination unclear, the Lakers would likely gravitate toward a more aggressive move to assemble a team that can take on the Golden State Warriors.
If the Lakers do sign Cousins, reports indicate it would be on a short-term deal that would allow the team to assess how well he has recovered from his Achilles injury.
While LeBron James’ signing has kicked the NBA rumors into overdrive, there’s no indication yet when DeMarcus Cousins plans to make his decision.