DeMarcus Cousins Expected To Aim For 2020/21 Return

11:55am: Cousins hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of signing with a team for the restart, agent Jeff Schwartz tells Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. It would have to be in a situation where he feels comfortable playing instead of continuing his rehab, Ganguli adds.

10:36am: Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins has been the subject of much speculation leading up to the NBA’s restart in Orlando, but Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears that Cousins is expected to sit out the summer and continue rehabbing his knee in preparation for a full return in 2020/21.

Cousins, who tore his ACL last August, remained on the Lakers‘ roster for much of the 2019/20 season and was only waived in February when the club needed to open a spot to sign Markieff Morris. A subsequent report indicated that Cousins and L.A. would have interest in a new deal in the offseason.

Once play was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was speculation that the door might be open for Cousins to join the Lakers – or another team – to finish the season. However, it sounds like that won’t be the case, despite multiple teams expressing interest in the four-time All-Star, per Charania.

It makes sense for Cousins – who will turn 30 in August – to play it safe with his recovery. The big man previously suffered a torn Achilles tendon in 2018 and a torn quad in the spring of 2019, making the ACL tear his third major leg injury in a two-year period. Plus, even if he were feeling healthy enough to play this summer, it’s not clear how much he’d be able to contribute, joining and adjusting to a new team with the playoffs about to begin.

The Lakers and Wizards figure to be among the teams that express interest in Cousins during the offseason this fall.

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