There has been plenty of speculation regarding the Los Angeles Lakers plans for DeMarcus Cousins when the 2020 NBA offseason arrives.
The Lakers had waived Cousins in order to make room for another spot on the roster for their upcoming 2020 NBA playoff run. However, his ongoing presence with the team indicates that perhaps both sides are not ready to part ways just yet.
Although Cousins has been unable to suit up in Los Angeles, the resurgence of Dwight Howard has provided a major boost to the frontcourt in his absence.
Howard’s performance has left the front office re-thinking how the depth chart could potentially look for the 2020-21 NBA season.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Cousins’ prospects are not looking too bright in free agency given his track record with injuries:
“I don’t think DeMarcus Cousins is looking at a make-good contract — even if it’s more than a minimum. I think that after a series of injuries he’s had… all of which indicates that he’s coming back too fast, doing too much… he needs even more time of coming back from this. He’s gonna have a job in the league, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big money,” the NBA insider said.
As a result, the Lakers could be prioritizing bringing back Howard over Cousins, as transcribed by Aegir Svensson of TalkBasket.net:
According to Windhorst, the Lakers are more likely of keeping Dwight Howard to see what they can ‘squeeze’ out of him one more season than having ‘a mystery’ with DeMarcus Cousins.
The prospect of the Lakers re-signing Howard certainly is not too far-fetched. He was able to answer any uncertainty the team had by proving himself to be an integral piece of the lineup and was rewarded with a guaranteed contract because of it.
Howard’s efforts off the bench have helped turn this team into one of the best defensive groups in the league. Perhaps even more impressive is that he was able to earn the respect of Lakers fans in the process following his initial, unceremonious departure.
The Lakers are now well aware of what Howard brings to the table as a valuable addition to their looming playoff run. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Cousins at this point in his career.
When healthy, Cousins had been one of the most offensively-gifted big men in the NBA. Los Angeles could be hesitant to disrupt the chemistry they have built on that end of the floor just to try and get him back on track.