The Los Angeles Lakers have championship aspirations for the 2019-20 NBA season after the moves they made.
The biggest was obviously trading for Anthony Davis, but the other move that has a chance to pay major dividends was the signing of DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins is very familiar with Davis, having teamed up with him on the New Orleans Pelicans and he pointed to conversations with the latter — as well as LeBron James and Rajon Rondo — as big reasons he signed with the Lakers. Davis is also looking forward to teaming up with his good friend again.
“Before he came to New Orleans, I knew him off the floor very well,” Davis noted during his introductory press conference. “And then on the floor for all the media attention he got for being emotional. I didn’t really see that. Me and him were really close.”
Cousins does have a reputation for being something of a hothead on the floor and picking up technical fouls. He was in the top-five in technicals five straight seasons from 2013-2017 and has picked up 21 total technicals in the last two seasons even though he has played just 78 games due to injury.
Despite that, Cousins was far from a distraction during the 2018-19 season with the Golden State Warriors and Davis believes that will carry on.
“Last year, it was rarely talked about him being emotional. So coming to another situation like this, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all because we have one goal, and that’s to win.”
Cousins’ talent is undeniable. One of the most-skilled big men to come around in years, he is an outstanding scorer from anywhere on the floor, a great rebounder, and a much-improved ballhandler and creator.
He’s a four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection for a reason, but coming off two major injuries, there are questions about what he can bring to the Lakers. But even a slightly lessened Cousins can be a massive gamechanger and Davis is happy he’s back on his side.
“I loved playing with DeMarcus. Obviously, we didn’t want it to end, but he had to move on and do what was best for him and his family. Now we have the opportunity to reunite in a great situation, so I’m excited about that.”