Free agency is quickly approaching and the Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of players they will be considering. LeBron James and Paul George are the top targets while retaining Julius Randle is another priority, but one name that hasn’t been mentioned nearly as often is New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins.
When it comes to talent, Cousins is one of the best the NBA has to offer, but he comes with some concerns. His attitude has long been a problem as he is always amongst the league leaders in technicals, not to mention the fact that he suffered a torn Achilles in January and may not be ready for the start of next season.
The injury is what makes Cousins’ free agency difficult to predict, but the Lakers apparently could be an option if other things don’t work out. Shams Charania appeared on the Yahoo Sports NBA Podcast with Chris Mannix and said that the Lakers could look at Cousins on a short-term deal if other options don’t work out:
“I think it’s going to be tough to gauge his market before July 1, it might take a little bit of time to develop. Teams like the Lakers, the Mavericks. The Mavericks are going to need to wait until the draft, first of all, to see if they’re going to draft a big and that’s going to take them out of contention. But the Lakers, the Mavericks, there are only a handful of teams with real salary cap space to use this summer. The Lakers probably have other players in mind before they would turn to someone like DeMarcus on a one or two-year deal at a really high number.”
This idea is completely opposite of a report from earlier this summer. The likes of James and George are almost surely ahead of Cousins in the Lakers’ pecking order as is retaining Randle and possibly even someone like Isaiah Thomas. When it comes to other centers on the market, DeAndre Jordan is an unrestricted free agent while Clint Capela is restricted and could also be a possibility.
The Lakers, of course, know all about the perils of a player returning from a torn Achilles and Cousins himself has even talked with Kobe Bryant about his recovery.
Cousins re-signing with the Pelicans still seems like the most likely outcome, but if he waits until certain things fall out, he could have some serious suitors and the Lakers could be among them.
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