Will any team give DeMarcus Cousins a hefty long-term contract in free agency given his recent injury history?
The past 18 months haven’t been kind to DeMarcus Cousins.
While playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, Cousins tore his left Achilles tendon in a late January 2018 game against the Houston Rockets. Although he averaged an outrageous 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game prior to going down, the injury had a chilling effect on his free-agent market.
With no long-term offer materializing last summer, Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the then-two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Dubs afforded Cousins the opportunity to rehab at his own pace, return midway through the regular season and eventually make the first playoff appearance of his career.
Cousins made his Warriors debut in mid-January and averaged 16.3 points on 48.0 percent shooting, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in 25.7 minutes across 30 regular-season appearances. However, he suffered a quadriceps tear in Game 2 of Golden State’s first-round playoff series — on the same leg as his Achilles injury, no less — before somehow returning for the NBA Finals.
As a result, NBA executives are skeptical about Cousins’ chances of finding a big-money, long-term deal this summer, according to Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger and Yaron Weitzman. Another one-year deal may be in the cards, perhaps with a second-year player option.
Which teams should be going after Cousins this summer? Based on team needs, salary-cap space and recent reporting, the following five stand out as his most logical landing spots.