Houston Rockets: Was passing on DeMarcus Cousins a mistake?
Many teams, including the Rockets, decided not to make an offer to DeMarcus Cousins. Did Houston make a mistake by passing on Boogie?
Its been a few days since the Warriors signed DeMarcus Cousins. Now that the initial shock is over, some are left wondering why other teams, including the Rockets, didn’t sign Boogie before Golden State.
Apparently, other teams would have signed Cousins, but his ruptured Achilles was a big question mark.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Lakers passed on Cousins because they couldn’t afford to wait until after the New Year for his return from injury.
The Rockets had similar feelings. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Rockets couldn’t guarantee Cousins a starting role and they thought he’d be a risky bet.
The Rockets are obviously all in on restricted free agent Clint Capela as their man in the middle, with plans to match any offer sheet that comes his way. Cousins as a sixth man with all those question marks wasn't appealing.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 4, 2018
The Rockets are all in on Clint Capela and plan to match any offer he receives. That’s great to hear as a Rockets fan, especially since the team already lost Trevor Ariza to Phoenix. But since Cousins was willing to sign at such a discount, should the Rockets have taken a chance and signed both Cousins and Capela?
Did the Rockets make the right decision?
Will the decision not to sign DeMarcus Cousins haunt Housing in the future? That is a legitimate question to consider. Cousins’ Achilles injury is the main reason he didn’t receive any max offers in the offseason. From Detroit’s Isiah Thomas to Kobe Bryant, a torn Achilles has shortened many players’ careers.
In his article on Cousins, Sam Amick points out that in his first eight seasons, Elton Brand averaged 20.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. In the eight seasons that followed his Achilles injury, Brand averaged just 9.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Even for some Hall-of-Famers and All-Stars, a torn Achilles is probably the most difficult injury to fully recover from.
For any team, signing Cousins was a risk. But the Warriors, the league’s best team, were willing to take a shot at Cousins while everyone else was not. You could argue that Golden State had every reason not to sign Cousins, as they’ve won back-to-back championships and they haven’t lost any key pieces.
Considering Cousins’ quick temper and long history of beef with Chris Paul, its easy to see why Houston passed on him. There’s a chance that Cousins will never be the same player again and he can be an issue in the locker room. According to Andrew Doak of WWL-TV, Anthony Davis liked the direction of the team after Boogie was injured. Anthony Davis also led the recruiting efforts to land Cousins’ replacement, Julius Randle, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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In the end, Houston made the right decision to pass on Cousins. He isn’t a good locker room guy and he doesn’t have a clear fit on the roster. However, part of me wishes the Rockets would’ve signed Cousins just to keep him away from Golden State.