1. DeMarcus Cousins
It’s been awhile since the basketball world has seen the dominant version of DeMarcus Cousins, who was one of the best players in the league at his peak. Cousins was named to four consecutive All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams, and holds career averages of 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
The latter number is impressive, as it’s not often that a true center has the ability to facilitate offense and create opportunities for others. This could be beyond useful for a Rockets team that salivates at the idea of a 3-point shot, and especially if the Rockets are able to add more shooting this offseason.
Cousins’ ability to find the open man could also be beneficial for Russell Westbrook, who is unstoppable when he drives to the basket. Cousins also has proven to be able to knock down the occasional three, as he is a career 33.2 percent shooter from deep and made 36.1 percent of his threes during the 2016-17 season and 35.4 percent of his long-range attempts during the 2017-18 season. The last time we saw Cousins, he averaged 16.3 points, 8 2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, on just 25.7 minutes for the Golden State Warriors in 2018-19, which was a career-low.
Cousins missed all of the 2019-20 season, as he was recovering from a torn Achilles, which he suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals, and his injury history is concerning, to put it politely. Cousins missed 84 games between the 2017-18 season and the 2018-19 season alone, which is how he’s landed on this list.
But even with the 30-year-old’s injury history, he’s certainly worth a flyer on the veterans-minimum, which is what his market is at this point in his career. The Rockets are certainly in need of a center and Cousins is one of the best big men on the market, and especially on a bargain contract.