Here we go again.
The Lakers released center DeMarcus Cousins on Friday to make room on their roster for former Pistons forward Markieff Morris. That means it’s time for the annual rumors linking Cousins to the Celtics to start up again. This time, it may be as unappealing as it’s ever been. Nevertheless, the Celtics somewhat weak center position and their supposed interest in Cousins in the past make it a noteworthy possibility.
Cousins has yet to play this season after tearing his ACL last August and hasn’t been the same player since tearing his Achilles in January of 2018. Cousins’ stint on the Golden State Warriors last season was uninspiring and he probably won’t look too much better after another major injury.
Before the Lakers released Cousins, the team had maintained that he could play this season. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said in October that the team wasn’t ruling out Cousins returning to court in time for the playoffs. Vogel doubled down on those comments as recently as this month, reassuring fans that Cousins was on track to be ready to play in the postseason. It’s fair to question whether Vogel was being 100% truthful given today’s decision by the team to waive the former star center.
If the Lakers thought Cousins could give them anything remotely valuable, especially after investing as much time in him as they did, they probably would’ve kept him on their roster. Suggesting Cousins could sign with the Celtics is a natural connection to make considering the flurry of rumors linking the two over the years, but it doesn’t seem like the former 4-time All-Star and 2-time All-NBA selection could make much of a positive contribution.
The Celtics reportedly tried to sign Cousins in the 2018 offseason before he joined the Warriors, but didn’t show much interest during his most recent stint as a free agent. Considering things have only gotten worse for Cousins since then both on and off the court, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be picking up a phone call from Danny Ainge any time soon.
Hopefully Cousins will re-emerge as a quality NBA player someday, but it probably won’t be happening this season. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Cousins’ current plan is to continue rehabbing his ACL injury into the offseason. After that, Cousins will have to convince an NBA team that he still has enough talent to warrant a roster spot despite all the baggage he brings along with him.
Photo: (Ben Margot – AP Photo)