DeMarcus Cousins has been a superstar in the league for the past few years and will continue to be one with his amazing basketball play. Before he tore his achilles, he was universally recognized as the best center in the NBA as he averaged 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds this season. Even though he tore his achilles just a few months back, he is still a huge free agent target for many teams. There is no official list of the teams that Cousins will plan to visit during free agency, however, there are some teams that we know have interest.
Cousins is still contracted with the New Orleans Pelicans until this summer, however, the Pelicans want to extend him. There have been multiple reports and questions regarding whether or not the Pelicans want to sign Cousins to a max deal this summer. After all, the Pelicans do have another superstar on their team in Anthony Davis as they look forward to extending his contract. It’s difficult for the Pelicans to make a choice whether or not to offer Cousins the max deal because they don’t know if they could afford both Cousins and Davis to a max deal. Even if the Pelicans give both player max deals, their team wouldn’t be able to compete with the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets. The Pelicans also might not offer the max deal to Cousins due to the achilles tear he suffered in late January. Players normally don’t come back the same from torn achilles but there have been some players like Dominique Wilkins who tore his achilles and the very next year averaged 30 points a game. Cousins would rather prefer to be offered a max deal because he feels at this point in his career, he deserves it.
Another team that does have interest in Cousins are the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers finished the season with a record of 35 wins and 47 losses and have made major improvements these past few years. Cousins should be interested in the Lakers strongly due to the money the Lakers are willing to give him. The Lakers have a ton of cap space as they could offer 2 elite players max contracts. If the Lakers were to offer a max contract to Cousins and the Pelicans wouldn’t, then there wouldn’t be much stopping Cousins. The Lakers have a goal for the future and it seems realistic enough. Playing with a pass first point guard and a young core to support Cousins, he should highly consider the Lakers, especially if they offer Cousins the max deal.
The last team that we’ve heard that has legitimate interest in Cousins are the Washington Wizards. There has been talk about this due to the friendship of Wizards point guard John Wall and Cousins. It does also make sense for Cousins to join the Wizards as the team has been struggling to add in a final piece to make their team a serious contender. As opposed to the Lakers or Pelicans, the Wizards are in the weaker Eastern Conference where Cousins could find it better being in. The Wizards also have a well constructed team with Coach Scott Brooks, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., and Markieff Morris. If the Wizards are also able to offer Cousins the max, then he should also consider the Wizards heavily.
This will be a tough decision for Cousins this upcoming summer. When free agency arrives, Cousins will be looking at the state of the team and of how much the team can pay him. The favorites to get DeMarcus Cousins are the New Orleans Pelicans, however they might not pay Cousins the max which makes this even more interesting. There could be more teams that we don’t know of that could also have a great chance in signing Cousins. The decision Cousins decides to make this free agency will change the dynamics of the NBA for years to come.