Rockets Waive DeMarcus Cousins

2:55pm: The Rockets have officially waived Cousins, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

7:56am: The Rockets have decided to release veteran center DeMarcus Cousins, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Assuming he clears waivers, Cousins will become an unrestricted free agent and will be able to sign with any team.

Houston and Cousins’ representatives reportedly decided over the weekend to end the relationship, with the Rockets said to be going younger and smaller in their frontcourt. The team explored the trade market in an attempt to get something in return for the 30-year-old, but today’s update suggests there were no deals out there worth making.

While he had a few big games for the Rockets, Cousins – who is coming off a series of major leg injuries, including a torn ACL – hasn’t looked like his old All-Star self this season, averaging just 9.6 PPG and 7.6 RPG on 37.6% shooting in 25 games (20.2 MPG). His limited mobility also reduced his effectiveness on the defensive end.

In a show of good will, the Rockets guaranteed Cousins’ full-season salary last week, so any team mulling a waiver claim on the big man would have to be comfortable taking on his full $1.62MM cap hit. If he clears waivers and signs a new minimum-salary contract, that deal would only be worth a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum, while Houston would carry $1.62MM in dead money.

Cousins should generate some interest around the NBA as a backup frontcourt scorer, but it’s unclear which team might emerge as his top suitor. Although the Lakers had him on their roster last season as he recovered from his ACL tear and will have two open roster spots, multiple people with knowledge of the situation said they don’t expect a reunion between L.A. and Cousins, according to Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times.

Cousins reportedly has some interest in the Heat, but it remains to be seen how seriously Miami will reciprocate that interest.

Once Cousins officially hits waivers, the Rockets will have an open spot on their 15-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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43 thoughts on “Rockets Waive DeMarcus Cousins

  1. Freddie Morales

    I think he goes to Raptors or Heat. Both can use a C and has enough D surrounding him to do well.

  2. formerlyz

    Spurs feel like they make the most sense to me. The Heat would need to do multiple things for it to make sense, at this point, for them. Their issues have been defensively at certain spots, so while he does help them with their rebounding issue, I’m not so sure how much he helps them more than what they already have

    • Mjm117

      Spurs seem to make the best trade partner with Gay and/or LMA. Forget Cousins. Heat’s Andy Elisburg has faster lateral quickness than Cousin.

        • formerlyz

          I never said they did lol…also the Heat have a full roster, so they would have to get rid of someone to sign him

  3. adamsessler

    Brooklyn or Lakers. He probably fits better with Brooklyn since LA already has a slow-footed, aging center in Gasol…

  4. Walladipo and Wood

    It sounds like the offers they received were from teams that Boogie wasn’t interested in playing for, and guaranteeing his contract will also discourage teams from claiming him off waivers. So basically the Rockets took the full $1.6M cap hit so Cousins could choose which team he wants to play for, that was very nice of them to do so.

    • macdaddy96

      The rockets have lost 8 in a row. Will they win another game before the all star break ?

      • Walladipo and Wood

        Their next opponent has lost 10 in a row, and they play each other twice before the break, so I like the Rockets chances.

        • macdaddy96

          A team that has lost 8 in a row vs a team that has lost 10 in a row! Should be exciting basketball.

          • KnickerbockerAl

            Rooting for not losing ten in a row. Homer basketball is so fascinating.

            • parx

              Rockets gave up 46 to the bulls in the third quarter…I’m so happy the bulls are fun to watch again but they are not a score 46 points in any quarter offense, rockets are really really bad

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    I guess he can ring chase go with a contender. Or he might want to go where he will be a part of rotation. Wherever he’s gotta be gm managed. You use him right you’ll get the best out out of him.

  6. washington_bonercats

    Hard to believe they couldn’t get a 2nd rounder from fringe contenders. Not sure why they seem intent on tanking the season when they’re pick is going to OKC

    • vpolite

      Why would you want to waste a 2nd on him? Did you read the part about him having diminished mobility? He plays no defense. He might still be able to dunk. He has a lot of rehabilitation to do.

    • Walladipo and Wood

      Not sure why so many people seem to think that the Rockets are intent on tanking either. Before Christian Wood got hurt they were 11-10 and right in the thick of the playoff hunt coming off a 6-game winning streak. They have had as many injuries to their top players as any team in the NBA this season:

      Wood has missed 12 games (and counting), Oladipo and Wall have missed 9 games apiece, and Gordon has missed 6 games. That’s why they’re 11-18.

  7. phenomenalajs

    I believe tomorrow is the day when most remaining non-guaranteed contracts need to be guaranteed, so it’s possible that a team would release one of its non-guaranteed players and claim him. For the Nets, I could see them dropping Vonleh and picking Boogie up, assuming he and Harden can put their differences in the past. The Nets could also wait for buy-outs to see if Drummond will come.

  8. osaegthong

    lmao, rockets are actually serious bout rebuilding and that somehow means cutting ties with wall’s buddy and going back to small ball. so apparently, the rockets havent changed much when it comes to improving their team

    • mcmillankmm

      Yes osaeg, I am sure the Rockets will severely impact their rebuild progress by waiving Cousins…

  9. stretch123

    If I’m Miami, I think it’s worth a shot bringing this guy in to see how Bam would play as the PF. Boogie can hit the 3, which would prevent having two non 3 pointer threats in the lineup.

    Heat could start Bam and Olynyk up front and then bring Cousins off the bench. If the Bam/Cousins experiment doesn’t work out, he could serve as Bam’s backup for 14-16 min per game.

    • vpolite

      Sure hit can hit the 3. It might take him a couple of quarters to get there. But, he can shoot it.

  10. Lloyd Emerson

    I expect the Hornets will be in the hunt. That team definitely needs some help in the front court.

  11. Ironmonger835

    Would be funny if a trash team claimed him off waivers just to screw over teams that want to sign him. lol

  12. x%sure

    His PER is falling, which he had been hanging on to, and which might have motivated a team to want him for some spark… which would make up for his destabilizing presence defensively. The Rox experience adds no lustre as they slumped featuring him most.

  13. I doubt anyone claims him. Once he clears waivers, he’ll sign with the team he wants to go to. Maybe if his reps have already spoken with that team, then they’ll claim him, but it’s still not efficient to claim on waivers from a cap / tax standpoint.

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