The Los Angeles Lakers made a big swing in 2019 NBA free agency when they agreed to bring in DeMarcus Cousins on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.
Cousins has long been viewed as one of the best centers in the league, but injuries over the previous couple of seasons had hurt his stock around the league.
Nonetheless, Cousins was viewed as a piece that could eventually put the Lakers over the top, but unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL during an offseason workout. This was a huge disappointment not just to the Lakers, but to many around the league who wanted him to return to form.
With this latest injury, it was believed that Cousins would miss the entire season and while that still may be the case, the Lakers are still holding out hope.
Head coach Frank Vogel said the team isn’t closing the door on a potential Cousins return for the 2020 NBA playoffs. Should that be the case, it could be a huge boost for the Lakers or at the very least, give the team another option on the biggest stage.
“We’ve not closed the door on that,” Vogel said prior to the team’s 120-101 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
“We’re going to be a wait and see. With these injuries that are long rehabs, you have to see and take it kind of month to month and see where he’s at. But we’ve not closed the door on a possible return for him.”
The likelihood of a return that quickly would still seem pretty slim. Assuming the Lakers make the playoffs, it would start in the middle of April giving Cousins eight months to be able to return. That would be on the shorter side of ACL returns not to mention Cousins would still need to get back into basketball shape.
This is something that fans everywhere witnessed last season with Cousins while he was with the Golden State Warriors.
Just as he was rounding into form following a recovery from a torn Achilles, he tore his quadriceps in the first round of the 2019 playoffs. While Cousins was able to make it back for the 2019 NBA Finals, he was a shell of himself and completely out of shape because of the time off.
Whether Cousins makes it back or not, he is still making an impact for this Lakers team. Anthony Davis recently spoke about everything Cousins brings to the team and the Lakers like having him around. A return for the playoffs might be pushing it, but just the possibility of it should get Lakers fans excited.