As an upcoming free agent, should the Los Angeles Lakers look to re-sign DeMarcus Cousins, or should they let him go?
There has been some speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers current plan for the offseason is to cut the team down to a rotation of two centers. They are expected to keep the two centers who are on the roster, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee.
This seems to go against an unspoken agreement that the team made with DeMarcus Cousins before they waived him from the team. With the Lakers allowing Boogie to still practice with the team, rehabilitate with team doctors, and use the Lakers facility, it almost seemed certain that there was an under the table agreement that once he was healthy next season Cousins would sign back with the Lakers. Both sides of the argument will be analyzed and the question on what the Lakers should do about Cousins will be answered.
Why The Lakers Should Keep Cousins
The case to bring Cousins back to the Lakers in the 2020-20201 season is similar to the argument on why the team should have signed him in free agency. While in this time Cousins has added to his extensive list of injuries, however, if he can put together an injury-free season a trio of Cousins, Davis, and LeBron would be a trio that would strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the NBA.
He would add more spacing than any other center on the Lakers roster could offer and when healthy, he can be one of the most dominant centers in the entire league. While the injuries have begun to take a toll on his athleticism, there is still a good chance that Cousins would be the best center on the Lakers if he were to be signed.
Lastly, he would come back as motivated as ever. Cousins is still trying to prove to the league that he can stay healthy and is the player that he once was in hopes of securing a lucrative contract. Also, he has yet to win an NBA championship despite signing with the Golden State Warriors during their era of reign. Lastly, it is almost certain that Cousins would sign on a team-friendly contract meaning that he would not take up much of the team’s cap space and be a very low-risk high reward player.
Why The Lakers Should Not Keep Cousins
There is also a very strong case as to why the Lakers should not sign Cousins. To begin, looking at the past few seasons of Cousins’s career it seems unlikely that he can make it through an entire season without a serious injury.
This can lead to players who will be on the court the entire year or during important playoff games will not be able to play together and gain necessary chemistry if Cousins takes major minutes then is out with an injury.
Also, the Lakers already have a very good center rotation. Both McGee and Howard are perfect role players for the center spot for the Lakers. They are both defensively oriented players who do not need the ball to contribute to the game. While Cousins is a ball-dominant center that can be discouraged if he does not receive enough touches.
Lastly, there is a chance that another run with Cousins on the roster could lead to a repeat of this year where Cousins gets hurt at some point in the season and just fills up a roster spot that could be filled with a player that can help or even be necessary to the Lakers success.
It would be best for the Lakers to give Cousins another year to try to prove himself to the Lakers and the rest of the league. He would sign to close to a minimum contract which means that he would not be a major cap hit to the team.
This would allow him to be one of the most low-risk high reward players in the league. While injuries are a strong possibility with Boogie, it is not guaranteed and a full season with Demarcus Cousins on an already loaded Lakers roster would be enough to make them clear finals favorites.