Demarcus Cousins’ free agency has been super anti-climatic. Cousins was expected to have a ton of interest, and sign a nice big deal after a disappointing finish to his season. Teams like the Lakers and Knicks were expected to pursue Cousins, however, Demarcus remains unsigned, with little interest. Cousins reportedly met with the Celtics and Heat, but garnered little interest and progress towards a contract deal. But the real question is, why is nobody signing Cousins? A top level big man in the league should be scooped off the market immediately, could we be seeing the next Carmelo Anthony here?
Cousins wants to get paid
Demarcus Cousins shocked the world when he took one of the biggest paycuts in history to play for the Warriors, on a 1 year 5 million dollar contract. Cousins was expected to seek a max deal, and when his signing with the Warriors was released, the world went nuts. But now Cousins didn’t get his ring, and he wants to get paid again. Cousins learned that just because you sacrifice everything, doesn’t mean you are due success. Cousins lost in the finals, no ring, and a small contract. It makes sense that Cousins is seeking at least 15 million dollars in free agency, while he has been on and off, he’s certainly worth around 15 million. But teams aren’t willing to pay Cousins that much. Based only on his performance from last season, teams will be willing to pay Boogie around 8-10 million, which is far off from what Cousins is looking for. His monetary demands will likely hurt his chances of signing a deal with a contender.
He’s injury prone
Prior to his achilles injury, Cousins experienced various injuries, however since the achilles injury, Cousins has been plagued with lower body injuries that hurt his free agency value. Cousins is also aging, which will only allow for more injuries to take place. Many teams don’t take chances on veterans who have suffered numerous recent injuries. There are of course exceptions, however Demarcus Cousins quite simply didn’t have a good enough year to ignore the injuries he endured this season.
He might be past his prime
We haven’t seen the same DeMarcus Cousins we knew on the Pelicans and Kings since his injury, the Cousins we see makes sloppy mistakes in late game situations, fouls often, and is not nearly as powerful and dominant as he once was. Many teams will see Cousins as a veterans minimum caliber player, although he certainly still has stardom ability. I call this the Isaiah Thomas syndrome. When a player who was once amazing, suffers an injury, returns, and disappoints, they look so much worse than they actually are. This is because of expectations, players like Gordon Hayward and John Wall have also experienced this, they get injured, they come back, they actually do alright, but not to the same level they were before, and they are treated as a “what could’ve been” case. Cousins is certainly still all star caliber, but due to his depreciation, many teams will pass up on him for someone with more potential.
Nobody really needs him – or can have him
When I look at the depth charts for every single NBA team, I so none that NEED or CAN AFFORD Demarcus Cousins. In the later days of free agency, cap space is running dry, many teams have maxed out on their spending, and now look to preparing for their teams for the upcoming season. The few teams that can afford Cousins, have no need for him. Most NBA teams have a starting center that they believe in, whether established, young or in between. Realistically, the only evident team in search of a big man are the Miami Heat, however money is an issue for Miami, who just completed a sign and trade to acquire Jimmy Butler on a super max. Wherever Cousins goes, he will either have to settle for a decreased minute number, or another small payday.
Cousins’ journey is one of the most interesting in the NBA, he was an all star, widely considered to be the best big man in the league, now, he can’t find a team. Nobody wants him, nobody can have him even if they did want him. Cousins’ high risk high reward factor is something many teams will pass on in order to sign low risk, high reward players that dominate this free agency class.
Where do you guys think Demarcus will go? Could it be another Carmelo Anthony story? Or is Cousins just waiting to decide where he will go in free agency? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Hello Basketball Community
My name is Ricky and I’m an author for NBA Alerts. I love Basketball, as we all do. One thing I think I bring that’s unique is a new perspective on players that aren’t talked about enough, as well as teams. I look forward to getting involved in this community!!!