When the Los Angeles Lakers were assembling their roster around Anthony Davis and LeBron James, one of the more intriguing signings was DeMarcus Cousins. Signed to a one-year contract, the versatile and once-dominant center was determined to re-establish his value.
Cousins was coming off an injury-riddled season with the Golden State Warriors, which included pushing to return from a torn quad for the NBA Finals. However, Cousins’ time with the Lakers ended before it began as he suffered a torn ACL during a summer scrimmage.
Some believed he would make a recovery in time for this season’s Western Conference Finals or NBA Finals, and that possibility grew when the NBA suspended play and pushed its calendar back in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
But amid speculation Cousins would sign with a team for the resumption of the season in Walt Disney World, he instead has elected to focus on getting healthy for the 2020-21 campaign, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: Multiple teams have expressed interest in DeMarcus Cousins but have been told the four-time All-Star will sit out the resumed season and continue rehab for full return in 2020-21.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2020
Reports of Cousins deciding to sit out the remainder of this season come on the day of the NBA transaction window officially opening. It started at 9 a.m. PT on Monday morning, and concludes June 30 at 8:59 p.m.
During this week teams can begin signing free agents or convert two-way and/or 10-day contracts into standard deals. In order to sign as a free agent during the transaction window, a player must have been on an NBA or G League contract this season or were not under contract this season with a professional team outside of the United States.
The Lakers waived in February in order to sign Markieff Morris. Cousins was permitted to continue utilizing the team’s UCLA Health Training center, and at the time of the roster move there was reported mutual interest in a contract for next season.
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