Marcus Cousin

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.

Pacific Notes: Ballmer, Ariza, Caruso, Howard

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer invested $100MM in the city of Inglewood, California this week, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of

The investment was created as part of the city’s new arena development agreement, with the Clippers labeling it as the largest funding commitment for community programs related to a sports or entertainment venue in California.

“We’re close to a residential neighborhood and we are being very mindful,” Ballmer told ESPN in July about building a potential arena in Inglewood. “Investing well into the community, being a good citizen of the community. No homes need to get moved but we need to be a good neighbor.”

Ballmer’s proposal for a new Clippers arena, according to Youngmisuk, would include a corporate headquarters, team training facility, sports medicine clinic and much more.

“I want it to be beautiful,” Ballmer said. “But I want it to be about basketball. I want it to be comfortable. But I want it to be about basketball.”

There’s more today out of the Pacific Division:

  • James Ham of NBC Sports Sacramento examines how Trevor Ariza could fit in a crowded Kings rotation this season. Ariza, a veteran 3-and-D forward, signed a two-year, $25MM deal to join the Kings in free agency this past summer.
  • Mike Trudell of discusses several Lakers-related items in his mailbag, including the possibility of Alex Caruso starting at point guard this season. Caruso was better than Rajon Rondo while playing alongside LeBron James last season, though head coach Frank Vogel also has the option of testing Quinn Cook at starting point guard in training camp.
  • Kevin Pelton of examines whether former All-Star Dwight Howard could help solve the Lakers‘ depth issues at the center position. Howard is expected to fill in the role that injured center DeMarcus Cousins was supposed to fill before tearing his ACL, likely playing back-up center behind JaVale McGee to start the season and controlling the team’s interior presence on defense.

Lakers Officially Acquire Anthony Davis In Three-Team Trade

The Lakers, Pelicans, and Wizards have officially completed the three-team trade that makes Anthony Davis a Laker. All three teams issued press releases tonight to announce the deal. The structure of the trade is as follows:

  • Lakers acquire Anthony Davis.
  • Pelicans acquire Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick (9-30 protected; unprotected in 2022), the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), the right to swap 2023 first-round picks with the Lakers, and cash ($1.1MM; from Wizards).
    • Note: The Pelicans will also have the option to defer the 2024 first-round pick to 2025.
  • Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, and the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick.

The long-awaited deal was held up slightly today as the Lakers officially finalized a series of signings using their cap room. In order to maximize its cap space, the club had to sign free agents first before acquiring Davis. Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, and JaVale McGee all signed their contracts with the Lakers since the July moratorium ended this afternoon.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, will now flip the rights to Hunter to the Hawks in a separate deal, putting the No. 4 pick on track to join his new team for Summer League action. Once the deal is done, Atlanta will also be able to complete its trade with the Sixers involving Bruno Fernando and Jordan Bone, then Philadelphia will be able to flip Bone to the Pistons.

For more details on one of the summer’s biggest trades, be sure to check out our previous stories on the Lakers/Pelicans aspect of the deal, as well as the Lakers/Wizards part of the swap.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Grizzlies, Walker, Rockets

It’s certainly hard to build playoff contenders in the NBA on a regular basis, but the Pelicans have failed to have much meaningful playoff success throughout Anthony Davis‘ career.

As Martin Rogers writes for USA Today Sports, if Davis does indeed leave in the near future, the Pelicans have no one to blame but themselves due to struggles in constructing a competitive team around him.

Pelicans GM Dell Demps has certainly tried to make significant moves to build a contender around Davis, most notably the Pelicans’ trade for DeMarcus Cousins two seasons ago.

There’s more from the Southwest division:

Mavs Optimistic About Signing DeMarcus Cousins

The Mavericks believe they have a strong chance of signing DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Cousins, coming off a season-ending Achilles tendon injury, will be an unrestricted free agent next month. While the Mavericks’ interest in Cousins has previously been reported, Scotto’s story suggests the Mavericks are ready to make him a hefty offer to lure him away from the Pelicans. If the Mavs pass on Texas big man Mohamed Bamba with the No. 5 pick, that would reinforce the notion they’ll go all in to secure the services of either Cousins or the Rockets’ restricted free agent center, Clint Capela.

Scotto also has several other notable items to pass along:

  • The Sixers discussed the possibility of packaging the No. 10 and 26 picks, along with last year’s top pick Markelle Fultz, to move into the top five of the draft with Michael Porter Jr. as their target. However, lingering concerns over Porter’s back have cooled their interest in making that move.
  • Tobias Harris expiring contract is part of the package the Clippers are dangling to move up in the lottery. They have back-to-back picks at Nos. 12 and 13.
  • The Hawks are trying to make a deal with the Clippers or Nuggets (No. 14) in order to nab Miami (Fla.) guard Lonnie Walker IV. They are looking to package their picks at Nos. 19 and 30.
  • The Nets are dangling point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and the No. 29 pick in order to move into the middle of the first round.
  • The Rockets have received calls on guard Eric Gordon and could move him in order to get a mid-first-rounder.

Western Notes: Galloway, Carraro, Mavs, Gasol

Langston Galloway came to the Kings in the DeMarcus Cousins trade and didn’t get much playing time initially, but he’s finding the court now as the team begins to rest its veterans. Coach Dave Joerger credits the point guard for staying ready even though he wasn’t receiving consistent minutes, as Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee relays.

“I think he has a survivor mindset. … That mindset that, ‘you know what, when I get my opportunity I’m going to be ready’ and he’s done that,” Joerger said. “He’s practiced hard, he’s worked hard and he’s been ready, keeping himself ready for whatever minutes may come.”

Galloway is making $5.2MM this season and he can become a free agent during the summer if he turns down his $5.434MM player option for the 2017/18 campaign.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Lakers assistant GM Glenn Carraro has resigned, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Carraro has been with Los Angeles since 2000.
  • It would be shocking if the Mavericks don’t select a point guard in the upcoming draft, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News writes. Dallas currently owns the ninth spot in our Reverse Standings and there should be several point guard prospects worthy of being selected at the top of the draft.
  • Offseason addition Pau Gasol added the 3-pointer to his game and Jeff McDonald of the Express News notes that the big man has made over 54% of his attempts from downtown. That figure, which isn’t likely to decrease severely over the next few games, is by far the best percentage for a 7-footer in NBA history. Gasol has fit in well since coming to the Spurs and he has one more season on his contract after this one.

And-Ones: Cavs, Bogut, Barnes, Holiday

The Cavs won’t make a decision on Larry Sanders until after the trade deadline, Dave McMenamin of passes along (ESPN Now link). Cleveland is also keeping an eye on the Andrew Bogut situation. The Cavs would like to bring the center aboard and they’re expected to be in the mix for him.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Several teams have expressed interest in Matt Barnes, Ramona Shelburne of tweets. Sources tell Shelburne that he’s waiting until after the trade deadline to make a decision.
  • Jarrett Jack will audition for the Pelicans, Marc Stein of tweets. New Orleans is pursuing backcourt help after trading away several players in the DeMarcus Cousins deal.
  • Point guard and pending free agent Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans “see me as a part of [the future],” the team tweets. The organization is calling Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis their version of a Big Three.
  • Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis will be the co-captains of the Ghost Ballers, the fourth official team in the new 3-on-3 league, according to a press release on
  • Thunder center Enes Kanter returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing arm surgery, Royce Young of reports. It’s uncertain whether Kanter, who suffered a broken arm punching a chair on the bench on January 26th, will return to action on Friday against the Lakers.
  • Former Rockets center Yao Ming, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, has been appointed as president of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to an report. He gave up ownership of the league’s Shanghai Sharks in order to take over his new role.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post

Latest On The Pistons, Drummond, Caldwell-Pope

The Pistons are “welcoming offers” for Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to Mark Stein of It’s likely that Drummond stays with the franchise, as he’s beloved by owner Tom Gores, but the softened stance on the big man opens up the door on a potential trade.

The Blazers had discussions with the Pistons about bringing Drummond to Portland, but those talks ended when Detriot insisted on receiving C.J. McCollum in return, sources tell Ramona Shelburne of Stein notes that the Blazers view McCollum as untouchable.

Stein adds that the Raptors and Pistons have had exploratory conversations on Drummond. Detroit has also engaged in conversations with the Nets. Before DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans, the Pistons discussed a deal with the Kings centered around a Cousins-Drummond swap.

Drummond signed a max contract with the team over the summer. Caldwell-Pope will be a restricted after the season and the team is reportedly wary about having to give the shooting guard a sizable deal. Stein notes that the team is looking for at least one first-rounder in exchange for KCP.

If the Pistons hold onto Caldwell-Pope and re-sign him to a max deal in the offseason, they would be near the luxury tax line. That’s not an attractive position to be in for a team that sits below .500. However, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy tells Vince Ellis of the Detriot Free Press that ownership has not issued any mandate to shed salary this season.

Divac: Kings Won’t Trade DeMarcus Cousins

The Kings deny that any members of front office are advocates of dealing away DeMarcus Cousins and GM Vlade Divac told Marc Stein of that a trade is simply not going to happen.

“We’re not trading DeMarcus,” Divac said. “We hope he’s here for a long time.”

The team recently met face-to-face with Cousins and his representatives to make it clear that the big man would not be dealt and Divac encouraged them to ignore any media speculation leading up to the deadline, Stein adds.

It was previously reported that Sacramento is planning to make Cousins a maximum Designated Player extension offer this offseason once the new CBA becomes effective. Divac confirmed the report, telling Stein that the team is “going in that direction” in regards to offering Cousins the new contract. The extension is estimated to be worth roughly $209MM over five seasons, depending on where the salary cap is set for 2017/18.

Cousins has expressed his desire to stay in Sacramento long-term. The Kings haven’t made the playoffs in the six seasons since they drafted the Kentucky product with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Sacramento owns a record of 20-31 this year and it sits 2.5 games behind the Nuggets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Western Notes: Cousins, Griffin, Gordon

DeMarcus Cousins was fined $50K by the Kings for his part of an incident with a local columnist and the 26-year-old said that he picked the wrong time to confront the reporter, adding that he let his emotions get the best of him, Sean Cunningham of ABC10 passes along (Twitter link). However, in his prepared statement, Cousins did not apologize to the reporter whom he intimidated..

“I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the professional standards of the Kings and the NBA. I apologize to my teammates, fans and the Kings organization for my behavior and the ensuing distraction and look forward to moving on and focusing on basketball,” Cousins said.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Blake Griffin underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times relays (Twitter links). Griffin is expected to miss four-to-six weeks and will rehabilitate with the Clippers‘ medical staff.
  • Eric Gordon tells Michael Lee of The Vertical that his transition to the Rockets has been “smooth sailing.” Gordon has made the second most 3-pointers in the league this season (behind only Stephen Curry) and he credits coach Mike D’Antoni‘s system as part of the reason for his success. “It’s a little bit of everything,” Gordon said. “Style of play, and playing with a guy who can really pass the ball, and like I said, it’s a free-flowing system where everybody is able to get good shots and I’m just taking advantage and knocking down shots.”
  • Gordon believes the Pelicans‘ uncertain ownership situation and constant changes made it difficult to thrive as a player, Lee writes in the same piece. “I was just getting better year after year with the Clippers, and then you make a major change with New Orleans, ownership and everything, so you had to start all over,” Gordon added. “It was a rough time in New Orleans. Guys can tell you that are still there now. It was a difficult task.”
  • Gordon said he thought Phoenix had a better training staff and that was the reason why he signed there in 2012, as he tell Lee in the same piece. Gordon was a restricted free agent at the time and New Orleans exercised its right to match the Suns‘ offer.