San Antonio Spurs should contemplate claiming DeMarcus Cousins off waivers
By Dylan Carter
After numerous links between the San Antonio Spurs and DeMarcus Cousins in the offseason, the team should think about claiming Boogie off waivers.
Earlier today, the Los Angeles Lakers waived rehabbing center DeMarcus Cousins in order to sign forward Markieff Morris. The 29-year-old tore his ACL during a pickup game in the 2019 offseason and has spent his time at Staples Center rehabilitating from the injury. There’s one team with an open roster spot and the capacity to help Cousins rehabilitate: The San Antonio Spurs.
We explored a potential fit between the Spurs and Cousins, and it was even reported that star wing DeMar DeRozan was recruiting him to the Alamo City in the offseason. Cousins played with another injury-prone individual who came to San Antonio with hopes of recovering—forward Rudy Gay—in Sacramento and built a relationship with DeRozan through Team USA.
Though Cousins has a tumultuous reputation, he proved himself to be an open-minded individual who can buy into a team during his year-long run in Golden State. Their head coach and a former Spur, Steve Kerr, spoke highly of Cousins throughout that season and into his departure, but it didn’t work out because of the Warriors’ injury trouble and Cousins’ pursuit of redemption.
The NBA can be a cruel place.
DeMarcus Cousins two days ago: “I’ve never been a part of a team like this. Just the vibe of the team is like if we move it’s 1 through 15. One dude going to the movies we all going to the movies.”
The Lakers two days later: https://t.co/WkxPgI2s8d
— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) February 22, 2020
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It was said by Lakers coach Frank Vogel that the powerhouse of a center is “on track to get healthy by the playoffs”, so there’s a fair chance that the Spurs have Cousins available toward the end of the regular season. He’d be an excellent addition to a team forcing its way into the postseason, even in a diminished role.
Having two floor-spacing bigs who can bully opponents in the paint would help the Spurs combat some of the larger lineups in the rigid Western Conference if Cousins were to return in time. If not, he’d be more likely to return to the Spurs on a cheap, short-term deal to flesh out the roster.
There would be no certainty to claiming Cousins, but it’d also be a low-risk, high-reward gamble. San Antonio could use some positive publicity after the utter failure of DeMarre Carroll’s time in the Alamo City, and the lingering stench of the Kawhi Leonard drama. Even if it’s just to help him get his body right and hope that he’ll bring something to the table next year, there’s not much harm in trying with Cousins.
It’s not likely that any player available would crack head coach Gregg Popovich’s rotation this year, so why not Boogie?