NBA Rumors: ‘ESPN’ Analysts Predict DeMarcus Cousins’ Fate In 2019 Free Agency

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After receiving a lack of interest in the 2018 NBA free agency, DeMarcus Cousins decided to sign a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors. Aside from having a higher chance of winning his first NBA championship title, joining the Warriors is expected to help Cousins land a huge contract in the summer of 2019 where he is once again set to become an unrestricted free agent.

The ESPN Forecast panel recently gave their predictions regarding potential landing spots for several NBA superstars in the 2019 NBA offseason. For DeMarcus Cousins, the Los Angeles Lakers are emerging on the top of the list of his free agency destination, garnering 33.3 percent votes. The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019.

DeMarcus Cousins will likely be one of the Lakers’ top free agent targets if they part ways with JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler, whose contracts are about to expire after the 2018-19 NBA season, and fail to acquire New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis via trade. Cousins will give the Lakers an All-Star caliber center who can knock down shots from the three-point range.

In the first 13 games he played as a Warrior, DeMarcus Cousins is already posting incredible numbers despite receiving limited playing time. In their recent victory against the Charlotte Hornets, the Warriors finally lifted the minutes restriction on Cousins, who finished the game with 24 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal on 9-of-15 from the field and 1-of-4 from beyond the arc.

LeBron James will surely love to have DeMarcus Cousins on his team. Cousins’ ability to space the floor will make it easier for James to penetrate the opposing team’s defense. However, with his injury history, it remains unknown if Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka are willing to take a risk and give Cousins a max contract in the 2019 NBA free agency.

After the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers (19.4 percent) and the New York Knicks (13.9 percent) received the second and third highest votes from the ESPN Forecast panel to become DeMarcus Cousins’ next landing spot. Unlike the Lakers who will only have one max slot, the Clippers and the Knicks could create enough salary cap space to sign two incoming free agent superstars in the summer of 2019. Though they can’t offer Cousins more than $6.4 million, the Warriors still emerged as the fourth favorite to sign the All-Star center in free agency.