DeMarcus Cousins has had his fair share of struggles over the past two years or so. He's been unable to prove his worth and go back to his former level right when he was at the pinnacle of his powers.
Cousins has suffered multiple injuries and setbacks and some argue he's never going to be that max contract-worthy player again. Given his talent, he should still get more chances to earn his minutes and try and help a contending team win an NBA Championship.
It seemed like the Los Angeles Lakers were pretty sold on him during his time rehabbing with the team, and there was mutual interest to join the team again next season. But, as CBS Sports claimed, the league is about to open its transaction window for the remainder of the season. Thus, Cousins could be back in the league in less than two months:
"The league's "transaction window," in which teams will be permitted to sign replacement players, is expected to start around June 22, per Wojnarowski, and it will feature all 30 teams, not just the 22 that will be competing in Orlando. Once the period begins, teams will be able to sign eligible free agents, and also convert two-way players into full NBA contracts.
While this is a necessary allowance, teams may not end up taking advantage of it. For one, the health and safety measures in place would mean a big delay between signing a free agent and them actually being able to help the team. They would need to be quarantined after arriving in Orlando, and then have to get up to speed with what the team is doing in very short order. Considering the pool of available players is going to be pretty shallow, it may just make more sense to wait for their player to return from injury and/or sickness," read the report.
So, now that Boogie has had more time to fully recover from his ACL injury, he'd be a low-risk/high-reward pickup for contending teams. But who could he help the most? Let's break it down:
The Boston Celtics are one of the biggest dark horses to win the NBA Championship this season. They have an up and coming young squad with enough talent to go the distance but they still lack a big man and a strong presence down low.
Cousins would give the Celtics a breather when Enes Kanter isn't on the floor and he'd be a more physical guy below the rim when they need a stop. He's not a great defender but, paired with Daniel Theis, they'd be quite a dynamic frontcourt.
The Houston Rockets are a strange team. They can win 5 games in a row and then drop the next 4. Sometimes, that inconsistency has come due to a lack of adjustments, and it's not easy to adjust when you lack the personnel to match up against everybody.
Thus, even though they're 100% sold into the small-ball, you can't win an NBA Championship without a center. They need Cousins to come off the bench and match up vs. bigger, tougher teams. Also, Westbrook and Cousins would be a huge menace in the Pick-and-Roll.
The Milwaukee Bucks have the biggest odds to win the NBA Championship this season so if Cousins is looking to win his first ring, he'd be thrilled to join them. Also, he'd be a major improvement (offensively) to Robin Lopez coming off the bench.
Mike Budenholzer has done wonders with Brook Lopez and turned him into a three-point specialist. Cousins isn't that bad of a three-point shooter, so he'd fit right away on their offense if given enough playing time. They'd be even more terrifying.
There have been plenty of rumors claiming that the Miami Heat are going to pursue DeMarcus Cousins this summer. So, why wait to sign him when they're a dark horse in this year's playoffs and everything can happen in the Orlando bubble?
Needless to say, Cousins isn't going to take over Bam Adebayo's starting spot. But given enough time, they'd be one of the most entertaining one-two punches below the rim the league has seen in a while. You know how much Erik Spoelstra loves taking erratic players back to the top of his game.
Los Angeles Lakers
And obviously, the Los Angeles Lakers could also be in play here. Cousins was still allowed to practice and rehab on their facilities and the team continued to pursue medical assistance for him so clearly they're in pretty good terms. Also, Cousins continued to hang out with his teammates as if he was never waived.
Frank Vogel and the Lakers had big plans for Cousins this season and we already saw what he's capable of doing next to Anthony Davis, so this would be a no-brainer. The Lakers have it all to win the chip this season, but adding Cousins would be an even bigger insurance policy.