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BREAKING: DeMarcus Cousins and Rockets are headed for a breakup

DeMarcus Cousins, Christian Wood, Rockets

The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are heading for a divorce, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

With the Rockets in the beginning stages of a rebuild following James Harden’s trade earlier in the season, Cousins’ departure will allow the team to institute a younger, smaller lineup centered around big man Christian Wood when he returns from injury. While it is not yet clear if a trade for Cousins is imminent or if the two sides will work towards a buyout solution, the resolution will come within a short time frame.

Though the loss of Cousins from the team’s roster is not completely surprising given the direction the organization is heading in, the move’s timing is curious. Fewer than 24 hours ago, the Rockets decided to guarantee the remainder of the center’s contract for the rest of the season, causing many to conclude that the team not only planned on keeping Cousins around but still had hopes of contending for a postseason spot.

With the divorce, however, not only are the Rockets punting on the rest of the year, but signaling a full teardown that could lead to further trades and buyouts down the line.

As for Cousins, his brief tenure with the Rockets has shown he is still capable of holding a rotation role in the NBA. While he is no longer the superstar big man he once was in Sacramento, Cousins has averaged over nine points and seven rebounds per game this season, including a performance three days ago in which he put up a stat line of 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks against the Philadelphia 76ers. With multiple contending teams desperate for an interior presence, the race for the center’s services will be intense, especially given that he is still only 30 years old.

While his stay in Houston may not have ended the way Boogie imagined when he signed with the Rockets in the offseason, he should be comforted in knowing his NBA journey is far from over.