DeMarcus Cousins

And-Ones: Cousins, Cooks, Eubanks, Valentine

DeMarcus Cousins‘ contract with the Taiwan Beer Leopards, slated to begin in mid-April, will cover a month-and-a-half, sources inform Marc Stein (Twitter link).

The 6’10” big man was a four-time All-Star and a two-time All-NBA honoree while with the Kings and Pelicans. Major lower leg injuries cut his career short at an all-too-brief 11 years.

Following his All-Star prime, he played for the Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Bucks and Nuggets in brief stints as a reserve. Across 654 total NBA regular season contests, he boasts averages of 19.6 PPG (on .460/.331/.737 shooting), 10.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 SPG and 1.1 BPG.

Cousins hasn’t been able to find an NBA home since the end of the 2021/22. He has since played for clubs in Puerto Rico and Taiwan.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Suns reserve big man Drew Eubanks wants to play for the Italian team in a future Olympics, according to Simone Sandri of La Gazzetta (hat tip to Kevin Martorano of Sportando for the translation). “I would certainly like to be able to play in an Olympics,” Eubanks said. “…I like to play competitive games even in the offseason. In fact, the idea of playing different basketball during the summer is intriguing to me and can only be beneficial to my NBA career. The prospect of joining a new team intrigues me, but let’s see what happens with the paperwork and then we’ll decide.”
  • Former Wizards guard Xavier Cooks has inked the biggest deal in the history of Australia’s National Basketball League to return to the Sydney Kings, per Olgun Uluc of ESPN. Cooks, a league MVP, helped propel Sydney to consecutive titles in 2022 and ’23. He has agreed to a three-year contract with the Kings.
  • One-time NBA lottery pick Denzel Valentine, hot off his own stint with the Sydney Kings, has signed a contract for the rest of the 2023/24 season with Italian club Olimpia Milano, per Alessandro Maggic of Valentine was selected with the No. 14 pick in 2016 out of Michigan State by the Bulls. He also suited up for the Cavaliers and Jazz.

And-Ones: Cousins, LeBron, Redick, Value Contracts, 2025 FAs

Former All-NBA big man DeMarcus Cousins will be returning to the Taiwan Beer Leopards in mid-April, according to Chen Jung-chen and James Lo of Focus Taiwan. Cousins played four games for the Leopards in January.

Super excited to be back and gearing up for an epic season of playoffs with my teammates and all of you,” Cousins said in a video released on the team’s Facebook page. “Your support means the world, let’s lock it in and go all the way for this championship run.”

While he hasn’t officially announced his retirement from the NBA, the 33-year-old said in an interview last month that he doesn’t really expect to be back in the league. Since playing for the Nuggets in 2021/22, the four-time All-Star has been out of the NBA, competing professionally in Puerto Rico and Taiwan.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Lakers superstar LeBron James and ESPN commentator JJ Redick are starting a new podcast that’s “planned to be a pure conversation about basketball,” reports Andrew Marchand of The Athletic. “It’s meant to be a very free-flowing conversation about the sport and about the game,” former NBA sharpshooter Redick told Marchand. “If you look at it in a very simplistic way, it’s just about basketball.” A teaser of the Mind the Game podcast was released on YouTube, with the first full episode debuting tomorrow.
  • With several caveats (no maximum or minimum-salary deals, no rookie scale deals, no second-round exception deals), Keith Smith of Spotrac lists what he believes are the 10 best value contracts in the NBA. Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, the East’s reigning Player of the Week, ranks No. 1, followed by Grizzlies forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. at No. 2.
  • Frank Urbina and Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype rank 75 players who could potentially be free agents in 2025, with the top spot going to Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, followed by Knicks star Brunson. Donovan Mitchell (Cavaliers), Scottie Barnes (Raptors) and Lauri Markkanen (Jazz) round out the top five.

And-Ones: Cousins, Howard, Wolters, Doumbouya

While he hasn’t officially announced his retirement from the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins admitted during a conversation with Cyro Asseo de Choch of HoopsHype that he doesn’t really expect to be back in the league.

“Honestly, no,” Cousins said when asked if he’s hoping for a potential NBA return soon. “I know I’ve had my time there. You know, there was a point where I was trying to make that happen. But the place I’m in my life now, just with everything I’ve got going on, just outside of basketball, like I’m in a good place.

“So, like I said, I’m excited for what I have ahead and my future. You know, my 12 years in the league were a small chapter or chapters in my life. And, I’m ready to move on to the next and see what’s in store for me.”

A four-time All-Star, Cousins was a dominant interior force in his prime, averaging at least 24 points and 11 rebounds per game for four straight seasons from 2014-18 for Sacramento and New Orleans.

However, a series of leg injuries – including a torn Achilles, a torn quad, and a torn ACL – in 2018 and 2019 derailed his career. Since playing for the Nuggets in 2021/22, the 33-year-old has been out of the NBA, competing professionally in Puerto Rico and Taiwan.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • A Georgia judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Dwight Howard that accuses the former NBA star of sexual assault and battery, reports Baxter Holmes of ESPN. The case remains in the discovery phase, with no trial scheduled yet, per Holmes. Stephen Harper, who filed the civil suit last July, alleges that Howard assaulted him during a July 2021 encounter, while Howard’s attorneys have repeatedly stated that it was consensual.
  • Nate Wolters, who appeared in 84 NBA regular season games after being selected 38th overall in the 2013 draft, recently announced his retirement as a player, according to Andy Rennecke of St. Cloud Live. The Summit League Player of the Year for South Dakota State in 2013 and later a member of the Bucks, Pelicans, and Jazz, Wolters hasn’t been in the NBA since the 2017/18 season. However, he played internationally for several seasons after that, with stops in France, Lithuania, Israel, Russia, Serbia, and Greece.
  • Former NBA first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya will continue his career in his home country of France. The 23-year-old forward has signed with Chorale Roanne Basket for the rest of the season, according to a press release from the team. The 15th overall pick in 2019, Doumbouya spent two seasons with the Pistons and last played in the NBA with the Lakers in 2021/22.

DeMarcus Cousins Signs 10-Day Deal With Team In Taiwan

11:13am: Cousins’ contract only covers 10 days and four games, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

7:53am: Free agent big man DeMarcus Cousins has reached an agreement to join the Taiwan Beer Leopards, according to Focus Taiwan. The team announced the signing in a press release, calling his addition a significant move for all of Taiwanese basketball.

“We’re confident that with [Cousins’] all-around skills, he’ll bring a totally new chemistry to the Leopards,” CEO Johnny Chang said.

Cousins is expected to join the team midway through next month and will play his first game on January 20, roughly halfway through the team’s T1 League schedule.

The four-time All-Star center told his new fans in a video on the team’s Facebook page that he’s “excited to come over and put on a show for you.”

Cousins, 33, last played in the NBA during the 2021/22 season, appearing in a combined 48 games with Milwaukee and Denver. He signed with the Guaynabo Mets of Puerto Rico in April, hoping it would help him return to the league. He reportedly turned down an opportunity to play in Taiwan last fall.

The Leopards, who have been aggressively pursuing former NBA players, also signed Dwight Howard last season. They are currently second in the five-team T1 League at 5-4.

And-Ones: Cousins, Expansion, 2024 Cap Room, Netflix, More

Veteran center DeMarcus Cousins, who last played in Puerto Rico, is drawing “strong” interest from a team in the Chinese Basketball Association, sources tell Orazio Cauchi of While it’s unclear which team in China is pursuing Cousins, one of BasketNews’ sources believes that a deal will be reached.

As Cauchi explains, Cousins – who has earned four All-Star nods and been named an All-NBA player twice – was already in China for a series of promotional events. Negotiations with the mystery CBA team have reportedly gotten more serious since he arrived in the country.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • While Las Vegas and Seattle are the destinations most frequently cited for the next round of NBA expansion, commissioner Adam Silver said during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics telecast on Monday (Twitter video link via The Shift) that he wouldn’t rule out a pair of Canadian cities as eventual homes for NBA franchises. “I know there’s interest from Montreal, we’ve heard from them,” Silver said. “There’s still ongoing interest in Vancouver. … There will be more opportunity (in Canada) over time.”
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac recently took a closer look at each team’s projected spending power for the 2024 offseason, naming the Magic, Sixers, and Pistons as the clubs that are in the best position to create significant cap room.
  • Netflix has conveyed some interest in broadcasting the NBA’s in-season tournament in future seasons, sources tell John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. The 2023/24 in-season tournament games are airing on ESPN, TNT, and regional sports networks, but that could change in the NBA’s next media deal.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report ranked the best players and prospects on two-way contracts, with Pelicans sharpshooter Matt Ryan and Celtics big man Neemias Queta earning the top spots on his list.

And-Ones: Holiday, N. Young, J. Parker, 2024 Draft, More

The Heat and Clippers are believed to be the other teams that were seriously in the mix for Jrue Holiday before the Trail Blazers accepted the Celtics’ offer for the All-Defensive guard, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during the latest episode of his Hoop Collective podcast.

“I’m not sure exactly where are the offers were at the end for the Blazers before they decided on the Celtics’ offer, but based on my conversations, my feel was there was at least three teams who were making significant bids.” Windhorst said, according to RealGM. “… The teams I really think were there in the end were the Celtics, Heat and the Clippers.

“The reason I think those three teams were there because I think those were the three teams Jrue Holiday was really focused on at some point being able to sign a longer-term contract (with). And that message kind of went out in recent days. Other teams made offers but it was sort of a three-team, aggressive race at the end. Only the Blazers know exactly what the offers were.”

The Clippers came close to acquiring Malcolm Brogdon back in June, so it will be interesting to see if they make any effort to re-engage the Trail Blazers in talks for Brogdon after missing out on Holiday.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Nick Young is resuming his playing career overseas, having signed with the Macau Black Bears of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), according to the team (Instagram link; hat tip to Sportando). A former first-round pick, Young has appeared in 720 regular season NBA games, but has been out of the league since being waived by Denver in 2018.
  • Speaking to Alex Molina of Eurohoops following his move to FC Barcelona, former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker said he believes the NBA is getting “watered down” because so many teams are trying to tank for draft picks each season, and expressed dismay that players like Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall can’t find NBA homes.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has updated his mock draft for 2024, moving USC guard Isaiah Collier up to No. 2 and Perth Wildcats big man Alexandre Sarr up to No. 4. While Ron Holland of the G League Ignite is still considered the early favorite to be next year’s No. 1 pick, Givony says Sarr has done enough to join the small group of prospects with a legitimate case for the top spot in the 2024 draft.
  • With a series of holes in its programming schedule this winter due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, ABC will air NBA games on every Wednesday night in January, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That slate of games will includes matchups between the Pelicans and Warriors, Mavericks and Lakers, and Suns and Nets, among others.
  • Kurt Helin of NBC Sports believes that Jason Kidd (Mavericks), Steve Clifford (Hornets), and Billy Donovan (Bulls) are three head coaches who will be on the hot seat this season.

Celtics Notes: Backup Center, Mykhailiuk, Brogdon, Free Agents

The Celtics completed their search for another wing by signing Svi Mykhailiuk this week, so the next priority should be finding a capable big man to provide depth in the frontcourt, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Boston now has 14 players with standard contracts, one short of the regular season roster limit. Only 11 of those are guaranteed, although Mykhailiuk could become the 12th once the details of his new deal are reported.

Robert Williams and Al Horford will handle most of the minutes at center, but Williams’ injury history and Horford’s age create a need for a quality backup at the position. Washburn suggests Kristaps Porzingis could see some time in the middle, but he’s more effective at power forward and is more comfortable playing away from the basket. Luke Kornet will be in camp, but his contract is non-guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 10.

Washburn identifies Bismack Biyombo and Dewayne Dedmon as available free agents, but states that neither is significantly better than Blake Griffin, who played for the Celtics last season and has expressed an interest in returning. Washburn also mentions former All-Stars Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins, but says the organization doesn’t want to risk team chemistry by bringing in someone who’s unhappy with his role.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Mykhailiuk’s success against Boston may have sparked the organization’s interest, even though he wasn’t among the players who held workouts last month. Playing for the Knicks and Hornets last season, the 26-year-old swingman hit 24 three-pointers against the Celtics, the most of any opponent, according to Luke Scotchie of The Boston Globe. Overall, Mykhailiuk enjoyed the best shooting season of his career from long distance, connecting at 42.4% and making 1.3 per game.
  • There has been little news about Malcolm Brogdon since he was nearly sent to the Clippers in June in a deal for Porzingis, Brian Robb of MassLive notes in a mailbag column. The team hasn’t provided any updates on Brogdon’s health after he reportedly suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow in the Eastern Conference Finals. Playing again should help resolve any bitterness Brogdon might have over the trade situation, Robb states, but he may be less willing to sacrifice for the organization after nearly being moved.
  • The Celtics still may have interest in T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens after bringing them in for tryouts, but they shouldn’t offer more than a partially guaranteed deal to either of them, Robb adds in the same piece.

And-Ones: Team USA, Contracts, EuroBasket Qualifiers, BIG3

Team USA got revenge on the Select Team during Saturday’s scrimmage, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, who writes that the senior team won 84-61 after three periods, which were 10 minutes each.

As Vardon notes, Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Brandon Ingram and Jaren Jackson Jr. started both days for Team USA. On Friday, Cameron Johnson was the fifth starter, while Anthony Edwards received the nod on Saturday.

Given that the team performed much better yesterday, it seems like Edwards might have the edge for a starting nod, though head coach Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to commit to anything.

Despite what he’s said publicly in terms of the lineup, it’s clear that Kerr has a major role in mind for Brunson, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

I think Jalen is such a natural leader,” Kerr said. “Because he’s a point guard, he immediately comes to mind. He’s the one who’s leading the ‘1, 2, 3 USA’ chant. Some guys just, it just comes naturally to them.”

With the Select Team heading home and the Americans having a non-contact practice on Sunday, the next test for Team USA as it prepares for the 2023 World Cup will come during Monday’s exhibition game against Puerto Rico, Vardon adds.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Which NBA players have benefited the most from the salary cap rising 10% each of the past two years? ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides a chart (via Twitter) of salary comparisons over the past four league years, and notes the highest earners have actually received the biggest bump in terms of relative volume.
  • The 32-nation qualifying field for the 2025 EuroBasket tournament has been set, as Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays. The qualifiers will take place over three different windows between February 2024 and February 2025.
  • BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube has a handful of former NBA veterans on his wish list, including DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Dwight Howard and Jamal Crawford, he tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (subscriber link). The 12-team 3-on-3 league started at the end of June and runs through August 26, with the championship held in London, England.

DeMarcus Cousins To Play In Puerto Rico

Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to sign with the Guaynabo Mets, a team in the Puerto Rican league, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

As Wojnarowski explains, Cousins is still hoping to return to the NBA, but will spend the spring in Puero Rico in the hopes of showing that he still has plenty left in the tank. He reportedly turned down overtures from Taiwanese teams in the fall.

A four-time All-Star, Cousins has career averages of 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, but has been slowed in recent years by a series of leg injuries. He has bounced around the NBA during that time, playing for multiple teams in 2020/21 and again in ’21/22. The big man hasn’t been on a roster at all this season, despite working out for the Lakers in January.

Cousins, 32, averaged 9.0 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 48 appearances (15.0 MPG) last season for the Nuggets and Bucks and said in the fall that he believes he still has plenty to contribute to an NBA team. He stated more recently that he has had trouble getting a “real answer” for why he has remained unsigned all season.

The regular season schedule for Puerto Rico’s Baloncesto Superior Nacional ends in June and last year’s playoffs concluded in August, so Cousins would be able to finish the season with the Mets even if he gets an invite to an NBA training camp. He’ll have some work to do to help get his new team out of an early-season hole — the Mets are just 1-8 so far this spring.

And-Ones: Silver, Jordan, MVP Race, Cousins

In addition to addressing the state of the CBA negotiations between the NBA and NBPA during his press conference on Wednesday, commissioner Adam Silver spoke about several other topics, including  rumors that he could replace Bob Iger as Disney’s CEO (“I have no intention of going anywhere,” Silver said) and his meeting earlier this month with Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN relays, Silver also discussed the reports stating that Michael Jordan is in talks to sell a stake in the Hornets, explaining that Jordan expects to still be very much involved in the NBA even if he’s no longer the majority owner in Charlotte.

“One thing Michael has told me is that whether or not that transaction gets done, he will remain governor in the league, technically maybe the alternate governor instead of the governor, so he’ll still stay very involved,” Silver said. “He’d still continue to have an interest in the league.

“I recognize that over time, people’s interests move on to other areas. He’s not living in the market right now, etc. So, completely understandable. But the good news is, I think regardless of his ownership status, he will remain part and parcel of everything that this league continues to do. I have no doubt about that.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The 2023 MVP race is tighter than ever in the season’s home stretch, according to the third and final straw poll conducted by Tim Bontemps of ESPN. The 100 media members who submitted five-man ballots to Bontemps picked Sixers center Joel Embiid over Nuggets center Nikola Jokic by a grand total of two points (790 to 788). Jokic actually received more first-place votes (42) than Embiid (40), while Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was also very much in the mix, with the remaining 18 first-place votes and 612 total points.
  • Asked during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter audio link) if he has received feedback from NBA teams about why he’s not in the league, free agent center DeMarcus Cousins said he hasn’t gotten a real explanation. “I’ve asked many questions. I’ve reached out to former teams,” Cousins said. “I kind of get sugar-coated answers. I can never really get the raw, honest truth. I’ve struggled with that as well. I would love to get a real answer.”
  • In an Insider-only article for, Kevin Pelton considers the effect a minimum games-played requirement would have on All-NBA voting, noting that players who have earned All-NBA honors while playing fewer than 58 games have often been among the league’s biggest superstars.