DeMarcus Cousins spent a decent chunk of his career widely recognized as one of the most talented young big men in the NBA.
Unfortunately, as decorated as the first half of his NBA run was – that is how injury-marred the second half has been. And after failing to secure a $200+ million contract from the Sacramento Kings in 2017, Cousins has made just $12 million over the past four seasons.
Cousins still has a strong desire to continue his playing career. The question heading into the 2022-23 NBA season is: with whom will he suit up?
At the moment, it feels like there are two options for him.
The first obvious potential landing spot is the Portland Trail Blazers. Between acquiring Jermani Grant, re-signing Damian Lillard to a $122 million extension and stealing Gary Payton II from the Golden State Warriors – they’ve clearly been very busy.
But one area that the Blazers’ front office seemingly didn’t focus on much was the center position. Yes they re-signed Jusuf Nurkić and Drew Eubanks – but neither of those guys can stretch the defense and open the paint up for someone like Lillard or Anfernee Simons.
Beyond Portland, a return to the Denver Nuggets would also make a lot of sense.
Serving as a backup to Nikola Jokic is the perfect role for Cousins at this point in his career. Last season, in 31 games for the Nuggets, he averaged nearly 11 points per game on 65.5 percent shooting from the field and 66.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
With Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. hopefully gearing up for healthy campaigns next year, the Nuggets could use some cheap veteran role players. Cousins fits the bill.
Obviously Cousins comes with some drawbacks. Him brutally criticizing his old team a while back wasn’t a great look. And this is something of a common theme throughout his career.
Plus, Cousins will need to wait for some other big men to come off the board. Namely – Montrezl Harrell. But Harrell seems to have one team that is clearly interesting in bringing him in, so there shouldn’t be much overlap there.
All in all, though, Cousins has the skills necessary to be a valuable contributor on a good team.
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/60LN0cHhBy
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 1, 2022
Where will he end up when it’s all said and done?
Time will tell.