We’re nearing the 2021 NBA All-Star break, which naturally means we are also nearing the trade deadline as well as the relevant dates for the buyout market. Both dates are important for all title contenders, with the Los Angeles Lakers being no different. They did not make any trades last season, but they did bring in Markieff Morris through the buyout market after he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons. That buyout market is starting to get some names attached to it this year, with one of the first being the Rockets’ DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie was on the Lakers’ last year, but was actually the player released to make room for Markieff Morris. However, there may be a reunion on the horizon for the Lakers and Boogie.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has just reported that the Lakers will be one of the teams pursuing Cousins if bought out. Just before this, Shams Charania of The Athletic appeared to confirm that a parting of ways between the Rockets and Cousins is inevitable, saying it’ll happen in the coming days.
Sources: The Lakers will be among the teams to pursue DeMarcus Cousins.
The market will be limited for Cousins, sources say. He has struggled this year after returning from multiple major injuries. But for LA or any team in need of big man depth, few options bring higher upside.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 20, 2021
The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 20, 2021
The move to bring DeMarcus Cousins back would indicate a couple of things. For one, it would indicate that the Lakers want to reinforce their depth at the center position. Last year, the Lakers had great production out of the positions from the combined forces of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, while also being able to have explosive, small lineups with Anthony Davis or Markieff Morris at the 5 at times. McGee and Howard have both gone to different teams, with Marc Gasol being brought in to replace them. Montrezl Harrell also can play at the 5, although he lacks the defensive ability to go up against many opposing teams’ fives.
Two, maybe the Lakers aren’t sure if Anthony Davis will be back right when they’re done with the All-Star break. They may want to exercise even more of an abundance of caution than they are already doing. Bringing in Cousins would help them receive some depth at that position while they are without him.
For all of the good memories that we had with Boogie on the bench, he never was able to play a single game for the Lakers after tearing his ACL right before the 2019-20 season started. Who knows though if he has enough left in the tank to be the defensive presence at the 5 position that the Lakers need. Either way, we may get an opportunity to see if he still has it sooner rather than later.