In the weeks leading up to the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, DeMarcus Cousins has emerged as one of the most talked-about free agents, since some teams involved in the restart are currently seeking to replace players who will be sitting out when action resumes next month. As suggested by a recent report, the San Antonio Spurs are one of the teams that could give the oft-injured former All-NBA big man a shot, despite how rumors have hinted that he might opt against playing.
As explained on Wednesday by Bleacher Report‘s Eric Pincus, the Spurs are currently in “grave danger” of missing the playoffs for the first time in 23 years, with the team’s 27-36 record only good for 12th place in the Western Conference. But while the team struggled despite the presence of multiple-time All-Star selections LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, Pincus stressed that Aldridge’s recent season-ending shoulder injury makes it even less likely that San Antonio could get a spot in the postseason. As such, he suggested signing Cousins in a “Hail Mary” bid to earn playoff seeding.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 23, 2020
Reports on Cousins’ availability for next month’s season restart in Orlando, Florida, have been conflicting thus far. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there are “teams interested” in the four-time All-Star, though they would need to “find the right situation” in order for him to suit up. Likewise, Pincus cited Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, who recently wrote that Cousins’ agent, Jeff Schwartz, stressed his client would need to feel “comfortable” about playing, as opposed to sitting out so he could recover from his injuries.
On the other hand, The Athletic‘s Shams Charania tweeted on Tuesday that “multiple teams” have been informed that Cousins will “sit out the resumed season” and continue rehabbing his injured ACL as he hopes to fully recover in time for the 2020-21 season.
While it’s unclear whether the Spurs are indeed interested in signing Cousins when the transaction window for signing replacement players opens, Bleacher Report‘s Pincus suggested the team doesn’t have too many other options at this point.
Despite how he joined the organization last summer as a highly-touted acquisition, Cousins was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this year, as it was expected he would miss the entire 2019-20 campaign due to an ACL tear he suffered shortly after signing. The former University of Kentucky big man most recently played for the Golden State Warriors in 2018-19, averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 30 regular-season games, per Basketball-Reference.