DeMarcus Cousins might end up suiting up in a Lakers uniform after all. Despite the Lakers officially waiving Cousins this past Sunday, the parties could be striking a new deal this summer.
According to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, both sides have “expressed interest” in pursuing a possible agreement this summer.
Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal in July but suffered a torn left ACL in August and has been rehabbing throughout the 2019–20 season. He is expected to continue rehabbing his injury at the Lakers’ practice facility. Per NBA rules, however, he can’t fly on the team plane or sit on the bench as a result of being waived.
He averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds last year in 30 regular-season games with the Warriors. Golden State signed Cousins to a one-year, $5.3 million deal in 2018 while he was recovering from a torn left Achilles.
Cousins was waived as a result of Los Angeles signing Markieff Morris to shore up their rotation.
Cousins appeared to have left a good impression on the Lakers. LeBron James also recently weighed in on the center’s status.
“Listen, first, his health is the thing we’re mostly engaging in and watching him. And he’s progressed every single day, every single month,” he said after practice Thursday. “To the point where he was limping and now he’s actually shooting and actually jumping on the jump shots, and progressing every single day, every single week. He’s out there right now, getting his work done.
“We want to continue to stay optimistic about his health. We don’t want no setbacks, as he’s had before in the last couple years. But his health is most important, and if we can get Cuz anywhere back to what he was capable of doing a couple years ago, it’s a plus for us. But there’s no pressure on him.”
The 43–12 Lakers have the West Conference’s best record and hold a five-game lead on the No. 2 seed Nuggets.