1. Los Angeles Lakers
Cousins briefly played for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019-20, as he was on the roster up until February of 2020, at which point the Lakers released him to make room for Markieff Morris. Shortly after the news broke that Cousins and the Rockets will be parting ways, there was instant chatter about the Lakers being interested in acquiring him.
Sources: The Lakers will be among the teams to pursue DeMarcus Cousins.
The market will be limited for Cousins, sources say. He has struggled this year after returning from multiple major injuries. But for LA or any team in need of big man depth, few options bring higher upside.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 20, 2021
The Lakers have even more of a need for him now, as they lost Anthony Davis for up to four weeks, although there are many that believe that Davis should be shut down until the playoffs.
The Lakers added Marc Gasol to replace the loss of Dwight Howard, but never expected him to start at the five. Acquiring Cousins will allow them to continue to reduce Gasol’s minutes, which have increased a bit of late, as he’s played 24 minutes or more in three of the Lakers’ last five games, and played 29 minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In addition, playing alongside LeBron James would be a benefit to Cousins’ offensive game, as he would create scoring opportunities for him. This would especially be the case with Cousins’ 3-point shooting, as he’s shooting 37.5 percent from the corner this season.
In addition, adding Cousins will help the Lakers on the glass, as they’ve averaged just 40 rebounds per game since Davis went down, compared to 46 before the injury. Acquiring Cousins would make a ton of sense for the Lakers, and for a first-round pick down the road, the Lakers would be wise to make the move.