Rumor: Lakers likely to keep Dwight Howard, bail on DeMarcus Cousins after season
Before the NBA season came to a halt, center DeMarcus Cousins continued his ACL rehabilitation within the Los Angeles Lakers’ facilities. But according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Lakers are likely to bail on the injury-prone big man after this season, instead looking to keep Dwight Howard as the backup center.
“I don’t think DeMarcus Cousins is looking at a make good contract, even if it’s more than a minimum,” said Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast. “I think that after a series of injuries he’s had, all of which indicates that he’s coming back too fast, doing too much, he needs even more time of coming back from this. He’s gonna have a job in the league, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big money.”
Cousins is coming off three major injuries — a torn Achilles, a torn quad, and a torn ACL — a trifecta of lower-leg maladies for an NBA player.
His brief stint with the Golden State Warriors left much to be desired, as he was still far from the dominant big man he was in his heyday. Cousins lacked explosiveness and was devoid of the athletic ability that made him such a monster in the paint. While he gave it his all and even admitted he played through injury in the NBA Finals, he simply wasn’t all that effective.
On the other side, Howard has been a welcome presence for a team that needed depth at center behind starter JaVale McGee. The veteran center and former three-time Defensive Player of the Year has adapted well to his new role coming off the bench and has provided solid minutes with the right production.
Those factors alone should be enough reason for the Western powerhouse to keep Howard and let Cousins walk, even if he’s likely to come cheap next season.