Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a contract with the Houston Rockets, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
ESPN’s Tim McMahon reports that the deal is for one year.
Can Cousins rebound after rash of injuries?
Cousins, 30 hasn’t played since the 2019 playoffs with the Golden State Warriors during their run to the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. A four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player, Cousins’ career has been derailed by injuries since he suffered an Achilles tear with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018.
That injury ended his 2017-18 season in January and his Pelicans career. He signed with the Warriors that offseason and spent the first half of the next season recovering and rehabilitating from his injury.
He returned to play 30 games at the end of the Warriors’ 2018-19 regular season. While he didn’t return to his All-NBA form, he was productive in limited minutes on a team loaded with offensive options. He averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in 25.7 minutes per game.
He then suffered a quadriceps tear during a first-round playoff game, seemingly ending his Warriors stint with another devastating injury. But he returned to play in the Finals. His eight playoff games with Golden State remain his only postseason appearances.
Cousins signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason before he suffered another serious leg injury. Cousins tore his left ACL in a preseason scrimmage and never played a game for the Lakers.
What will Cousins’ role be in Houston?
Now he has another shot to revive his career in Houston, where he’ll join a franchise in flux. The Rockets have a new head coach in Stephen Silas and new general manager in Rafael Stone. Stars Russell Westbrook and James Harden are both reportedly lobbying to be traded.
The Rockets traded Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks during the season and moved to an experimental small-ball lineup without a true center. They have since signed 6-10 former Pistons power forward Christian Wood in free agency. That and the Cousins signing may signal a move back to a more traditional lineup under Silas.
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