The San Antonio Spurs could use DeMarcus Cousins for a playoff push
San Antonio Spurs fans have experienced quite a swing of highs and lows over the last week. It was recently announced that the NBA would be returning on July 31st with 22 teams, the Spurs among them, heading to Orlando to play out a final eight games of the regular season. This would give the Spurs a chance at making the playoffs for a record-setting 23rd consecutive season.
Just as we were thinking about who the Spurs would have to gameplan for and predicting how those final eight games might shake out the team’s playoff aspirations took a major hit. The near-crippling blow came in the form of the breaking news that the teams star big man, LaMarcus Aldridge, would miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.
San Antonio was already dealing with a shallow frontcourt before this news came out. Now they’ve got serious depth issues up front. They could turn to players already on the roster or bring up someone like Chimezie Metu to help stabilize things. Or they could use a recently introduced roster rule to add someone for their playoff push.
The NBA is going to have a one week window in late June for teams to make final adjustments to their rosters in preparation for the conclusion of the regular season. They’ll be able to waive or sign active players to fill an open roster spot, or they can sign an active player to fill the hole left by a player who is injured for the rest of the season.
As difficult as it will be, overcoming Aldridge’s absence could open a window for San Antonio to try something bold. Signing DeMarcus Cousins to help fill the void left by Aldridge could be what the Spurs need to make a playoff push and help them down the road as well.
San Antonio Spurs need to give DeMarcus Cousins a call
Cousins has undergone a brutal stretch of injuries over the past few years. A torn Achilles tendon, torn quadriceps, and torn ACL have all sidelined him for the better part of the last two and a half years. It’s a tragic series of unfortunate events for one of the most skilled big men the league has seen in recent memory.
Boogie tore his ACL back in August and was subsequently waived by the Los Angeles Lakers in February. A report from Sam Quinn of CBS Sports had Lakers head coach Frank Vogel saying that Cousins, who was still on the roster at the time, was on track to get healthy by the playoffs. Given the extra time created by the season suspension, there’s a decent chance that Cousins has had the necessary time to get healthy and get his conditioning back to where it once was.
He might not ever return to the All-NBA level he was once at but even 80 percent of peak DeMarcus Cousins would be better than what the Spurs have on their roster right now. He can be a dominant scoring presence, he’s a career 21.2 points per game scorer, and voracious rebounder (10.9 rebounds per game).
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The biggest drop off from LaMarcus to Boogie would be the loss of Aldridge’s presence as a 3-point threat. One of the biggest surprises for Spurs fans this year was LaMarcus’s emergence as a legitimate 3-point threat in mid-December. He went from hardly ever shooting from behind the arc to becoming an oversized Splash Brother in a matter of weeks, much to the benefit of his slashing teammates.
This is a far-reaching hypothetical but signing Boogie to a quick deal for this playoff push could help benefit both him and the Spurs. If he plays well it’s sure to help build interest around his next move and could help him land another contract, potentially with the Spurs. He’s 29 years old and turning 30 in August, and without a body of proof that he’s ready to contribute to an NBA team it could be hard for him to find a suitor. As much as his presence on the Spurs roster could help the team potentially make the playoffs it could also serve as an eight-game audition for Cousins to prove himself to the rest of the league.
It’s a stretch, but adding DeMarcus Cousins for these final eight games could be a move that benefits both the San Antonio Spurs and Cousins.