Although the Los Angeles Lakers came up short in their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard, they rebounded nicely in free agency to assemble a complementary roster around Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The addition of DeMarcus Cousins on one-year contract represented one of their more intriguing signings.
Cousins once was considered the best big man in the NBA, but his initial foray into free agency was upended by a torn Achilles suffered months prior. Then, just as he was rounding into form with the Golden State Warriors, Cousins suffered a torn quad in the playoffs.
The Lakers nonetheless were willing to bet on the relationship Cousins had with Davis and Rajon Rondo, and his acceptance of any role. Bad luck struck again, however, as Cousins suffered a torn ACL while playing in a pickup game over the summer.
He then became embroiled in a legal matter due to alleged threats made against his ex-girlfriend. In late August the Mobile Police Department in Alabama issued a warrant for Cousins’ arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, those charges have now been dropped and Cousins’ case was dismissed:
Third-degree harassment charges against Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins have been dropped, his attorney Moshae Donald tells ESPN. The case, filed in a Mobile, Alabama court, has been dismissed.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 22, 2019
The NBA and Lakers each issued statements at the time audio of Cousins’ purported threats leaked. Both parties said they were investigating the matter, and during Media Day, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka deferred questions on Cousins’ status to the league.
The Lakers were granted a disabled player exception for Cousins, though the team has not fully ruled out the possibility he plays this season. “We’ve not closed the door on that,” head coach Frank Vogel recently said.
“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.”
Even with the Lakers maintaining some hope of seeing Cousins on the court, the likelihood appears to be slim. Even if L.A. makes the playoffs, the middle of April would give Cousins eight months to recover.
That would be on the shorter side of ACL returns, not to mention Cousins would still need to get back into basketball shape.