With Paul George looking more likely to stay with the Thunder, the Lakers are turning their attention to DeMarcus Cousins, tweets Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. League sources say that L.A. is considering a short-term max offer for the free agent center.
Cousins was headed for a full max deal in New Orleans before suffering a torn ACL in January. The Pelicans grabbed the No. 6 seed without him and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, raising questions of whether the organization would be fine without him.
Cousins has played less than a full season in New Orleans after being acquired in a trade with the Kings, but he has put up All-Star numbers. In 65 games, he averaged 25.0 points and 12.7 rebounds while forming a dangerous frontcourt combination alongside Anthony Davis.
The Lakers, who have been seeking another star to help attract LeBron James to Los Angeles, could use some help up front. Incumbent starter Brook Lopez is a free agent and Ivica Zubac is the only center currently on the roster. O’Connor notes that in 2017, James referred to Cousins “the best big man in our game.”
In an interview last month with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Cousins said he is happy with the progress he has made and he hopes to be ready for training camp.
“Just getting this amount of time to rest my body, I’ve never had this much rest probably since I picked up a basketball.” Cousins said. “I feel like it’s been tremendous for my body. I feel great. I feel fresh. I feel brand-new. It’s crazy to say.”