After making an eyebrow-raising claim that he’s currently the third-best center in the NBA, four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to sign with the Guaynabo Mets of the Puerto Rican Professional Basketball League, per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) April 11, 2023
Cousins, who last played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets during the 2021-22 season, is attempting to make it back to the NBA.
He averaged 9.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game last season and played a minor role for the Nuggets in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Though the minutes when two-time MVP Nikola Jokic gets to rest are few and far between, Cousins took advantage of them, scoring 10.6 points in 11.4 minutes per game while shooting 65.5 percent from the field (including 4-6 shooting from 3-point range).
Despite his recent comments seeming ludicrous on the surface, Cousins is undoubtedly a skilled big man that’s capable of scoring at a high rate. He also creates for teammates, averaging 3.6 assists per 36 minutes in both the regular season and playoffs last year.
However, the biggest problem with Cousins on-the-court lies in his defense, as multiple injuries have sapped him of most of his athleticism. This is apparent on offense as well, but there are less ways for him to dominate the game defensively when he’s no longer quite nimble and limited in the ways he can be used on that end.
That said, Cousins is 6-foot-10 and 270 pounds, with enough size and strength to make defensive plays inside the box.
Nonetheless, while Cousins should have enough talent to at least get a tryout, teams may be concerned about his intangibles. Notoriously fiery and outspoken, Cousins is the type of player that believes in himself so much, he’s neglecting his potential as a respected locker room leader.
Perhaps his time in Puerto Rico will answer questions about where he is though.