DeMarcus Cousins will be one of the more interesting NBA free agents of summer 2019 due to so many question marks. Cousins was already coming off a major injury entering the season and recently suffered another that has him out of the playoffs. With two injuries and a lack of playing time these past two years, it’s hard to really value what sort of contract is reasonable for the talented big man. Cousins could bet on himself again with another one-year deal or look to cash in with something more longterm, which would obviously be more risky for the team. Either way, it’s going to be worth watching.
Here are the five teams that should really be hitting up Cousins this free agency.
Golden State Warriors - Cousins didn’t get a chance to really enjoy playing for the Golden State Warriors, as he logged just 30 regular season games and 771 minutes. Cousins gives the Warriors their most talented post presence and is in one of the better situations to get a championship ring (Maybe his second depending on how these playoffs finish up). There would also be more money on the table for Cousins to return if Kevin Durant leaves like many rumors suggest. Even if it’s another one-year deal, a return to Golden State allows Cousins to manage his workload, make sure he’s healthy, and he wouldn’t have to put the team on his back when he’s on the court. The Warriors are a friendly situation for Cousins.
Los Angeles Lakers - The Los Angeles Lakers need talent and at this point I’m not sure it matters who takes their money. Just give LeBron James some help. If they can’t get Kyrie, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker or Kevin Durant, Cousins has to be the next option. While they finished sixth in the league in rebounds last year, Cousins clearly brings more to the table than JaVale McGee and would get a lot of easy stuff at the rim in pick-and-rolls with The King. These two would feed off each other well and it would give the Lakers one of the better 1-2 punches in the league, getting this franchise back in the postseason. This move also gives Cousins the big market he’s apparently seeking.
Los Angeles Clippers - The Los Angeles Clippers are clearly a team on the rise and are looking for stars to put them over the top. Cousins instantly becomes the Clippers best starter and can mentor and allow Ivica Zubac to slow into his role of a consistent big man. While talented, Zubac is still very green at 22 years old and with just 48 starts under his belt. Also, imagine the intensity of Cousins and Montrezl Harrell on the court at the same time. I’m here for it. Cousins doesn’t provide the pure scoring the Clippers need to take some of the pressure off Lou Williams, but there’s no doubt he makes this team better and a much scarier team in the West.
New York Knicks - The New York Knicks have been dreadful for years and have money to spend. Somebody has to go to New York and help repair this broken franchise. If Durant and Kyrie turn them down, Cousins is another option. The Knicks don’t have much to speak of right now, so it’s simply about getting top tier talent in the building and figuring things out later. If the Knicks can’t get the free agents they first had their eyes on, Cousins becomes a nice plan b and would open the door for others to want to come to New York.
Dallas Mavericks - The Dallas Mavericks have had a thing for big men these past several years if you look at them going after DeAndre Jordan (Who they got twice) and Hassan Whiteside. The Mavs are building something with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and they have money to spend in hopes of creating a talented trio. Linked to Khris Middleton and Kemba Walker, the Mavericks could turn their attention too Cousins if they strikeout. Cousins is obviously a massive upgrade over Dwight Powell, and he’d certainly help the Mavs improve on the glass where they finished 16th last year with an average of 45.3 rebounds per game. The Mavericks are a team heading in the right direction and the addition of Cousins easily puts them in the playoff conversation.