All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins may have dealt with multiple injuries in the past two years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that his NBA career is over. In the upcoming offseason, where he is once again set to become an unrestricted free agent, Cousins is expected to continue his search for the team that will enable him to rebuild his value and give him the opportunity to win his first NBA title. Though the current season is still far from over, several teams have already been rumored to be interested in acquiring Cousins’ service this summer, including the Houston Rockets.
Matthew Schmidt of ClutchPoints recently created a list of best landing spots for Cousins in free agency. After losing starting center Clint Capela before the February trade deadline, it is no longer a surprise why Schmidt included the Rockets in his top free agency destinations for Cousins this summer.
“The Rockets basically don’t even have a center after trading away Clint Capela. Yes, Isaiah Hartenstein is on the roster, but Houston doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of faith in him as someone who can play big minutes. At least not right now. That has essentially left P.J. Tucker as the Rockets’ center, which, even in an era where small ball reigns king, is not going to get it done. Cousins can step in and provide some bulk up front, as well as a fine pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop partner for James Harden and Russell Westbrook.”
Compared to the initial expectations when they lost Capela, the Rockets are doing surprisingly well in the second half of the season. As of now, the Rockets are on a six-game winning streak, sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference with a 39-20 record.
However, though they are currently playing well with their small-ball lineup, it still makes a lot of sense for the Rockets to go after a legitimate center like Cousins in free agency, especially if “Boogie” wouldn’t mind signing a veteran minimum deal or the mid-level exception.
It may take time for Cousins to regain his All-Star form, but when he recovers 100 percent from his injury, he would undeniably be a huge help for the Rockets next season. Having Cousins on their roster would enable the Rockets to have someone who could go up against dominant big men from other powerhouse teams like Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.
With Cousins capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc, it would be easier for Russell Westbrook and James Harden to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense.