Today has been rather quiet on the free agent front, but a report from Marc Spears (the Undefeated) on DeMarcus Cousins this morning mentioned the Clippers as being “intrigued” by the Warriors center.
Cousins is a four time All Star and two time All-NBA member who is still in the prime of his career at age 28. However, a torn Achilles a season ago and a torn quad this past postseason are bad signs for a man as big as he is heading towards his 30s. Cousins, never the most limber of defenders, has slowed due to these injuries, and he was attacked relentlessly by the Raptors and Clippers in the playoffs on that end. However, he’s still a valuable offensive player — a massive body who can punish smaller defenders in the post, and a very good passer who can make plays for others from the post or top of the key.
It wouldn’t make a ton of sense for the Clippers to sign Cousins for more than a year or two, but if they strike out on Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant, he’s a very worthwhile risk to take. By all accounts he’s matured as a person over the past couple years, moving past some of his locker room issues early in his career. While he’s not a perfect fit for the Clippers’ culture and identity, the talent is hard to ignore, and if he recovers well over the next year, could pay off big time. The Clippers will face competition for the big man (Spears mentions seven teams have interest, including the Lakers and Knicks), but they can offer him minutes on a good team, in a great city, and with a strong, winning culture around him. If they miss out on the top guys, Cousins is definitely a guy they might end up with.