It’s been over three years since DeMarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles amid what will likely go down as his final All-Star season. We’re also 18 months removed from his torn ACL that saw him never suit up in 2019-20 despite signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. This season, the 6-foot-10 center had been on a rehabilitation run with the rebuilding Houston Rockets, not closely resembling his All-Star form outside of select games and flash moments. Due to his recent release, he at least proves as a curious enough candidate for a center-needy squad entering the second half of the 2020-21 season.
In 25 games with the Rockets, including 11 starts due to Christian Wood’s absences, Cousins averaged 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in just 20.2 minutes per contest. Though those are easily the lowest counting stats of his 11-year career, Boogie Cousins is still averaging 13.6 rebounds per-36 minutes, the best tally he’s ever had. A few glaring issues arise when analyzing his numbers, though. Cousins is only shooting 37.6 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three. For the first-time in his NBA tenure, more than half of Cousins’ field goal attempts have come from behind the three-point line, which is generally a sign that someone is at the end of the line, especially at 6-foot-10 and around 270 pounds. Cousins’ player efficiency rating is also just 15.1, which is just above league-average (15.00) but ranks far below his career-average PER of 22.2.
In his favor are some landmark moments he’s had, particularly while stepping in for Wood. Cousins averaged 13.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in his 11 starts, averaging around 28 minutes per contest. He’s also put forth some peak Boogie-like games, like his 28 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, and four threes against the Dallas Mavericks, along with his 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four threes against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers in his final game before being granted his release.
But was Cousins merely a good stats, bad team beneficiary who feasted when the Rockets entered games short-handed, as they often have this season? Apparently, we’ll soon find out because several contenders have been linked to him.