It’s been a long and tough road back for DeMarcus Cousins, but he’s slowly rounding back into NBA form.
On Friday afternoon, it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the former Kentucky Wildcat and four-time NBA All-Star would have the remainder of his $2.3 million contract fulfilled by the Houston Rockets. In 25 games played for Houston this season, 11 of them as a starter, Cousins is averaging 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in slightly over 20 minutes per game.
The Houston Rockets have guaranteed center DeMarcus Cousins' $2.3M contract for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN. Teams have until February 27 to make that decision on non-guaranteed deals.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 19, 2021
Cousins was initially signed by the Rockets back on Nov. 23, 2020, but on a non-guaranteed deal after not playing professional basketball since the 2019 NBA Finals. Boogie has suffered a series of threatening lower-body injuries that derailed his career just as he was in line for a major payday. It started with a torn Achilles in Jan. 2018 and then got worse when he tore his left quadriceps in April 2019. Just a few months later in August, after signing with the L.A. Lakers, Cousins tore his ACL and subsequently sat out the entire 2019-20 season.
Now 30 years old, there were questions ahead of his signing with the Rockets regarding whether or not he would ever return to the dominant force he once was. While Cousins will likely never play the role of a superstar again, he’s found a situation in Houston playing alongside one of his best friends in John Wall that seems to benefit everyone involved.
Granted, the Rockets are 11-17 on the season, just one spot above the Western Conference’s bottom-dwelling Minnesota Timberwolves (7-22), and are still figuring out what they have in the aftermath of the James Harden trade. Various, spread-out injuries to key players such as Christian Wood, Eric Gordon, Danuel House, P.J. Tucker, and even Wall have Houston stuck in between a rock and a hard place. They have a roster capable of making the playoffs, but with a rookie head coach and little continuity this far into the season, that could be a pipe dream at this point.
Either way, Cousins proved to himself and everyone else that he could still make an impact in the NBA after so many untimely injuries. Hopefully, this means he can play his way into a multi-year deal in the future.