Lakers: DeMarcus Cousins needs to become a priority next offseason

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 23: DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 23: DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The amount of Lakers rumors surrounding a multitude of different NBA stars has been staggering. However, the Lakers should be honing in on DeMarcus Cousins.

The whirlwind of Lakers rumors has included many big names; LeBron James, Paul George and even Klay Thompson have all been thrown into the hat. With the 2017 season playing a key role, the 2018 offseason may be one of the best offseasons in Lakers’ history.

Or it could very well be the most disappointing.

Los Angeles heads into the 2018 offseason with big expectations, at least, the fanbase does. With so much speculation, and seemingly subliminal moves to free up cap space next offseason, there has to be some trick up Magic Johnson’s sleeve. For the first time in half a decade, the Lakers are threatening to be a relevant playoff contender.

However, this same speculation has fizzled out over the last few weeks. First came with Paul George. George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder – and with Russell Westbrook signing an extension – could stay there for quite some time. Add in a $500 thousand tampering fine and George may have moved to the bottom of the list.

Then came with James. James took over as the number one candidate for the Lakers to build around in the future. Even NBA executives gave their reasons on why LeBron to Los Angeles seemed to be an inevitable partnership. However, James did say that his plans to retire a Cav are still unmoved.

As for Thompson, well, that has always been just speculation. If anything, this showcases how desperate the Lakers are to remain relevant.

In the fallout of these Lakers rumors, one man stands tall above the rest; DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is entering his last season under contract after being traded to the Pelicans last season and will likely leave the city of New Orleans. Despite having the most talented frontcourt, the Pelicans can’t seem to piece it together.

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There are some contenders that could use a big man, such as the dreaded Golden State Warriors or even the Boston Celtics. However, despite having no real contender status, the Lakers should highly pursue Cousins.

First and foremost, Brook Lopez is also entering the last season on his deal. Currently, Lopez makes more annually than Cousins, and will likely also ask for a raise similar to Cousins’ demands. As much as Lopez is an upgrade from Ivica Zubac, he is not worth $30 million+ superstar money.

That leaves a gaping hole at center, which can only be filled by Cousins. With the layout of the team, this makes sense. Realistically, Los Angeles needs to stay away from point guard and small forward superstars. With Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, those positions don’t fit.

In bringing in Cousins, it could cause a ripple effect that also extends to the shooting guard and even power forward position. If LA were to bring in George, it would create a logjam and prevent a second superstar from coming. Cousins is the perfect piece to add to tempt any potential suitors next offseason.

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Cousins is still one of the best centers in the game, as he averaged 27 points, 11 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Adding a piece like that to the Lakers will only help reach the goal of becoming a super team once more.