After an Achilles injury during the 2017-18 NBA season and a torn left quadriceps in the 2019 NBA playoffs, it has been an extremely difficult past year for DeMarcus Cousins.
Following one season with the Golden State Warriors, Cousins reportedly signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to reunite with Anthony Davis.
As Cousins was on the brink of a max deal had it not been for these two major injuries, he is focused on getting in the best shape possible for the 2019-20 NBA season now.
Speaking to the Los Angeles media for the first time since signing, the 28-year-old provided an injury update and his plans heading into 2019 NBA training camp with the Lakers.
“I’m working my tail off every single day. My quad is 100% healed,” Cousins revealed during his conference call.
“I’m building it up every day. I’m building my lower body up every single day. I’m getting stronger. I’m getting in better shape. My plan is to come into camp in tip-top shape.”
While Cousins has not played more than 65 games since the 2015-16 season, he has one major goal in mind.
“My goal is to play 82 games this season and I want a full season of health,” Cousins said to media members.
When healthy, Cousins is one of the best centers in the league and this is an opportunity for him to show it. For most athletes, it does take a full season for them to show if they can return to form following a devastating injury.
Although there were concerns the Lakers would be unable to sign good free agents following Kawhi Leonard’s week-long decision to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, they were able to sign Cousins for well below his market value.
Heading into Year 2 with LeBron James, there is plenty of optimism considering Anthony Davis and their overall depth. And if Cousins can return to All-Star form now, the Lakers should be favored to win it all in the 2020 NBA Finals.
As Cousins has noticeably lost some weight, this is good news for him and the Lakers heading into October.