Los Angeles Lakers: Four free agents to avoid this summer

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

4. C DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest name to hit the free agent market this summer. While Paul George and LeBron James may also be there due to their player options, he joins Chris Paul as the biggest names to be an unrestricted free agent.

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Technically, Kevin Durant is already set to be an unrestricted free agent as well since he declined his player option. However, he declined the option to rework a deal with the Golden State Warriors, so we are not counting him.

Cousins is the best center in the game, the only person on his level is Karl-Anthony Towns. Cousins not only is a handful down low, on the glass and is a good rim protector, but he can stretch the floor. He is the perfect hybrid between and old-school and new-school breed of center.

On paper, Cousins is exactly what the Los Angeles Lakers need. He is a superstar, he is a center and he will be inviting any other star to join LA. Six months ago, I was first in line to hype Cousins up as the next Laker.

What makes these seemingly better for the Lakers is the team could theoretically sign Cousins for much less than he is worth since he is coming off of injury.

However, it is the injury that should be keeping the Lakers away.

Cousins ruptured his Achilles in late-January, which rendered him out for the rest of the season. And while recovery is seemingly going great and faster than anticipated, Cousins is still coming off of one of the worst injuries for an athlete to have.

Cousins could possibly ready to go by the start of next season. The problem is that guys simply are not the same after this injury. This exact injury effectively ended Kobe Bryant and Patrick Ewing‘s careers in the NBA.

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Cousins is younger, which is a plus. However, he also lacks the mobility and athleticism that could help overcome an injury like this. While the potential for something special is there with Cousins, the Los Angeles Lakers simply cannot afford to take the risk.