NBA Free Agency kicks off tonight at 6:00 p.m. ET and while all the eyes are on big-name stars such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and a few others, one significant free agent star that has slipped through the cracks is one DeMarcus Cousins. After signing a one year deal with Golden State last year, Boogie will once again hit free agency, but this time under very different circumstances.
Last year, Cousins needed a chance to prove himself again after a detrimental Achilles injury, which ultimately allowed teams to undercut him when it came to contract time. That was until Golden State came calling with a one year deal in what was a win-win deal for both sides. Boogie got the chance to prove himself on the most marketable team in the league, and the Warriors got to add another piece to their already loaded roster.
This time, Boogie enters free agency in unfamiliar territory. He is still a viable piece to any team and has been a dominant big man in the league for the last ten years, but another injury in the first round of this year’s playoffs certainly won’t help Cousins. While he still might be one of the league’s best big men, his days as a franchise player and a big name free agent are over for the time being in the eyes of NBA governors. So, with the unlikelihood of Cousins getting a max deal, that opens up the door for just about any team to grab the four-time all-star. In fact, Cousins told the Undefeated he’s open-minded about this year’s free agency, and he will see where the wind blows. Well, the wind is blowing in several directions. Seven directions, according to an undisclosed source to Marcus Spears, but I would say there are about four viable options as to where Cousins could end up this summer.
The New York Knicks
Ah yes, the New York Knicks. Seemingly a centerpiece for every trade and free agent discussion over the last ten years, despite their inability to produce winning basketball since the ’90s. But, they seem to be the growing favorite amongst Twitter to land the former Cat.
With a significant amount of cap space and the ever-increasing reality that KD, nor Kyrie will end up in the mecca, it’s almost a “next best” situation for the Knicks. Losing Enes Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis last year, the Knicks are in desperate need of a solid big man as well. If Cousins did decide to sign with Knicks, he would once again be a big star, only this time on the much bigger stage of New York, a far cry from Sacramento and New Orleans.
He would join a team littered with potential stars in the backcourt with Dennis Smith Jr, RJ Barrett, and of course former Cat Kevin Knox. This would seem to be the best spot for Cousins, logistically, but if he went to New York the narrative then becomes, “Can Boogie’s on-court behavior handle the big stage of New York?” In theory, I like this move for Cousins.
The Los Angeles Clippers
This is another team that would make a lot of sense for Boogie. The Clippers are a solid team that made the playoffs in the tough Western Conference, even after losing Tobias Harris at the trade deadline, and they did it all without a significant big man. With Lou Williams, Patrick Beverly, and former Cat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the way for the Clippers last year, the Clippers are in desperate need for a big man. The Clippers also have a ton of cap space, since they don’t quite have that one star on their team. So, this would once again be a landing spot for Boogie to become the big name player on a team again combined with more money in the contract.
The Clippers are also just a weird team in general for this year’s free agency. With some bright young stars on their team, like Shai, and some guys entering their prime like Montrezl Harrell, I’m not really sure if they are in “win now” mode with vets like Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly hanging around. So I’m not sure what adding DeMarcus Cousins, who turns 29 in August and has two significant leg injuries, can do for them. Then again, with absolutely no one knowing what Kawhi Leonard will do, that could change the landscape for everything for the Clippers. I think Boogie might end up on the Clippers with all of their cap space, but it’s very contingent on what Kawhi Leonard and/or KD do first.
The Los Angeles Lakers
This one may be a bit of a reach, considering that Laker fans think EVERY. SINGLE. FREE AGENT will come to the Lake show.
However, Boogie might actually be a plausible fit for the Lakers. Not that they are in need for bigs, considering they already have AD, but Boogie could certainly add much-needed depth and allow AD to fit comfortably into the power forward role. Anthony Davis even told The Undefeated last season he would love to play with his former teammate once again. Plus, Boogie could be affordable for the Lakers. Considering he is no longer a max player right now, the Lakers just might land him.
Of course, they are also trying to land the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes, all while pursuing former Laker D’Angelo Russell. Boogie might not be as high on the Lakers list, but he could just end up in Tinseltown alongside the King and the Brow.
The Golden State Warriors
Then, of course, there is always the possibility of resigning, but it doesn’t seem promising. The Warriors would only be able to give Cousins a one-year deal for 6.4 million if he did decide to come back, but Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said it’s ultimately up to what Cousins wants this offseason.
“I would say the hope is frankly that he can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him,” Kerr said. “But who knows? Every year is different. There are a lot more teams with cap room this summer than last summer. This summer’s going to be a wild free-agent market, and we have to figure out our own situation, particularly with Klay and Kevin and how all that shakes out.
“But I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It’s just a question of what are his goals? What’s out there for him?”
Where will Boogie end up next? Who knows, It could be New York or LA, or it could be another shocker just like last year. We will find out soon enough.
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