After they successfully landed All-Star center Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins decided to ink a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019 NBA free agency. Cousins teamed up with Davis and LeBron James with the hope of reviving his NBA career while having a realistic chance of winning his first NBA championship title. Unfortunately, months before the 2019-20 NBA season started, Cousins suffered a grave injury that will put him on the sideline for a long period of time.
With the type of injury he’s currently dealing with, most people expected Cousins to sit for the entire 2019-20 NBA season. However, while giving a statement in the recent Lakers All-Star media day, via YouTube, Coach Frank Vogel hinted at the possibility that Cousins could return to action this season.
“He’s on track to get healthy by the playoffs and we’ll have to see where he’s at with rhythm, and conditioning, and timing and all that stuff,” Vogel said, as transcribed by CBS Sports. “But there is a possibility he returns this season, yes.”
The Lakers would definitely benefit from Cousins’ return, especially when the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Though they currently hold the best record in the Western Conference, the Lakers still have plenty of things that they need to address on their roster in order to have a better chance of returning to the NBA Finals and ending their years of title drought. Cousins may have spent the past two years dealing with multiple injuries, but when he was healthy, he proved to be a very reliable scoring option inside the paint or from beyond the arc as well as rebounder, rim protector, and floor-spacer.
Though JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, who are sharing minutes at the center position, are currently doing well in the 2019-20 NBA season, they don’t possess the skill needed in the modern NBA, which is floor-spacing. Cousins wouldn’t only help the Lakers stretch the floor, but his potential return this season would also enable Davis to continue playing at the power forward position in the NBA Playoffs.
As of now, it remains unknown what is the basis of Vogel’s recent statements about Cousins’ possible return in the 2019-20 NBA season. According to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, players who suffer the same injury as Cousins usually need 10-12 months to recover. The aggressive end of that timeline for Cousins’ rehabilitation will be in June. Also, even if Cousins really has a speedy recovery, there’s no guarantee that he could immediately contribute for the Lakers on both ends of the floor.