2:53pm: Wojnarowski passes along an update on Cousins’ salary figure, tweeting that the deal will actually be worth $3.5MM rather than the minimum. So the Lakers will need to use cap space or the room exception for the signing.
2:22pm: Schwartz tells ESPN that Cousins’ deal will be worth just $2.3MM. That sounds like a veteran’s minimum contract, as the big man’s minimum salary this year will be $2,331,593.
1:38pm: The Lakers have reached a deal with perhaps the most notable free agent left on the market, as agent Jeff Schwartz tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) that DeMarcus Cousins will sign a one-year contract with the Lakers.
Cousins, a two-time All-NBA Second Team center, had to deal with a limited market this summer after a season in which he spent the first half recovering from an Achilles tear, then missed most of the postseason due to a torn quad.
Appearing in 30 regular season games for the Warriors, Cousins still put up impressive per-minute numbers, averaging 16.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.5 BPG, and 1.3 SPG in 25.7 minutes per contest. However, he struggled on defense and didn’t have his old explosiveness.
Still, the Lakers won’t have to pay huge money to roll the dice on Cousins for one year. While we don’t yet know what the 28-year-old’s new contract will be worth, the club is believed to have used up more than two-thirds of its projected $32MM in cap room on reported deals for Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Quinn Cook.
In Los Angeles, Cousins will team up once again with his old Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Heat were among the teams with interest in Cousins, but a handful of Lakers players – including AD – helped sell him on joining the Lakers.
Cousins’ and Davis’ relationship in New Orleans was solid, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic, who tweets that AD’s pitch to Cousins was short and to the point: “Let’s win it all.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.