The Clippers played their most recent game against Orlando with only eight rotation players thanks to injuries and rookies who aren’t yet ready to play. Their injury report for tomorrow already ruled out four players, so it’s fair to say that the Clippers are in need of some bodies.
Per reporting from Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania, the cavalry is on its way.
The Clippers will be using their 14th roster spot on DeMarcus Cousins, who was waived by the Rockets near the end of February. Houston is rebuilding, and Cousins wanted to land with a contending team, which he now has.
Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins and the Clippers are discussing a 10-day contract, but no decision is expected until next week, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 31, 2021
The Los Angeles Clippers plan to sign center DeMarcus Cousins, pending clearance of NBA health and safety protocols, multiple sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 31, 2021
There is some confusion over what kind of deal Cousins would be signing with the Clippers, whether that’s a 10-day or a minimum contract for the rest of the season. What is clear is that the Clippers need another center who can play as long as Serge Ibaka is injured, and that period could be lengthy since Ty Lue said Tuesday that Ibaka hasn’t yet gotten on the court. Cousins just has to wait until he gets through health and safety protocols to join the team.
Currently, the Clippers use Patrick Patterson as their backup center, though his natural position is probably power forward. Cousins doesn’t shoot as well as Patterson — he’s a career 33.2 percent shooter from 3-point range — but he is bigger than his former Kentucky teammate and has shown an ability to draw charges as a form of rim protection.
Patterson is extremely excited to welcome Cousins to Los Angeles, based on his Instagram stories over the past few days. Marcus Morris Sr. also seems happy to be playing with Cousins, who interestingly was cut from the Lakers last year so that the 2020 champs could sign Markieff Morris.
PatPat has been teasing the Boogie move for a few days on IG. pic.twitter.com/1Saj3R8sHv— Clips Nation (@clipsnation) March 31, 2021
Let’s get it! https://t.co/Y7kcUKmJtT— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) March 31, 2021
Cousins is particularly close with Rajon Rondo. The two played together in Sacramento and New Orleans and were both on the Lakers roster for much of last season, even though Cousins was hurt and couldn’t play.
The Clippers shouldn’t be expecting too much of Cousins, who has had an injury-riddled existence since he tore his achilles in January 2018. Let’s see what the former six-time All-Star still has left in the tank.
More news for Thursday:
- Law Murray outlined the pros and cons of signing DeMarcus Cousins.
- Zach Kram identified the biggest flaws for each contender.
- Nekias Duncan hits on some interesting trends around the league, including the Clippers’ increasing rim attempts.
- Larry Berger examined the state of female coaches in the NBA.