2019-20 Lakers Season Preview: DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins, Lakers
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

2018-19 NBA Season Review

In DeMarcus Cousins’ ninth season, he had to make a bit of a financial sacrifice in order to prove he could still play at a high level. This came after he suffered an Achilles rupture injury in January 2018 with the New Orleans Pelicans.

In order to show the league and fans what he was still capable of, Cousins took a massive discount (mid-level exception) to sign with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Warriors had just won back-to-back championships and could afford to keep Cousins on the bench while he recovered from the devastating injury.

Cousins returned a year later where he played in 30 of the team’s final 37 games and put up impressive stats for a center coming off a torn Achilles who was likely their fourth option. In just 25.7 minutes, Cousins averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 48% from the field. It is true that he never fully got his offensive rhythm back, but he did not look bad. However, in Game 2 of the 2019 NBA playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers, he suffered a torn quad that kept him out until the 2019 NBA Finals.

And in 2019 NBA free agency, Cousins took another discount — this time to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. However, it all came crashing down when he suffered a torn ACL injury and was accused of making verbal death threats to the mother of his child.

2019-20 NBA Season Outlook

Sadly, the odds of Cousins playing this season for the Lakers are slim to none. In fact, the Lakers reportedly applied for the Disabled Players Exception, which would keep him out for the entire season, but would give them another option if they want to sign a new player in his place.

If this is the fate of Cousins’ injury, then it is extremely likely that he will never play a game in a Lakers jersey — which is a shame for everyone involved. With him and Anthony Davis, the Lakers would have formed one of the most formidable frontcourts the league had seen in quite some time.

Cousins, Davis, LeBron James, Danny Green, and any of their point guards could have been competitive against any team in a seven-game series. Instead, the Lakers are still likely to be competitive, but it will not be the dominance that could have been with a James-Davis-Cousins frontcourt.

Because of Cousins’ third injury in two seasons, the Lakers signed Dwight Howard to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal.