As of this writing, DeMarcus Cousins is one of the top players who remain unsigned in this year’s NBA free agency period. However, there are a number of teams that have reportedly shown interest in the former All-Star big man, including a rather unexpected suitor hinted at earlier this week — the Washington Wizards.
On Thursday morning, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post took to Twitter to report that Cousins recently spoke to Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards’ interim president of basketball operations, in Las Vegas. Although Buckner added that the conversation didn’t amount to anything beyond “small talk,” she concluded her tweet by saying this marks an “interesting” development in Cousins’ ongoing free agency saga.
The Wizards aren’t the only apparent dark horse to emerge in recent days as a rumored suitor for Cousins. Citing a subscriber-only report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, NBC Sports Bay Area wrote that Cousins reportedly had recent conversations with a number of “star players,” including San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan.
In addition, the outlet quoted a tweet from Detroit Free Press reporter Vince Ellis, who said on Wednesday that the “feeling around the league” regarding Cousins is that the 28-year-old big man — along with fellow free agent center JaVale McGee — is waiting to see what the Los Angeles Lakers’ next move in free agency will be.
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) July 3, 2019
As noted by Sporting News, DeMarcus Cousins is now a free agent for the second summer in two years, following the expiry of the one-year, $5.3 million contract he signed with the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 offseason. After missing more than half of the 2018-19 campaign while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in January 2018, Cousins played in 30 regular-season games for the Warriors, averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds despite playing in just 25.7 minutes per game.
While Cousins was healthy in time for this year’s playoffs, he suffered a torn left quadriceps muscle in Game 2 of the Warriors’ first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. He was able to suit up again for Golden State in the NBA Finals, where the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in six games.
Aside from the Wizards and the other aforementioned teams, the New York Knicks have been mentioned in recent reports as one organization that could make a move for Cousins in free agency. Late last month, Marc Stein of The New York Times tweeted that the Knicks were considering signing Cousins to a “considerable” one-year contract if they miss out on his former Warriors teammate, recent Brooklyn Nets acquisition Kevin Durant. The Knicks, however, have since bolstered their frontcourt by signing three free-agent big men — Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson — as reported earlier this month by the New York Post.