DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. For the second straight offseason, Cousins is signing a short-term prove-it deal.
The contract is larger than the $2.3 million salary Wojnarowski initially reported. Real GM’s Keith Smith noted this means the contract will either come out of the Lakers cap space or one of their exceptions.
“The original amount in Woj’s article was $2.3M, which was the minimum for Cousins. He’s since amended his report to $3.5M, which means that comes out of cap space or the Room Exception,” Smith tweeted.
Cousins had a bit of bad fortune in missing the start of the season as he recovered from injury, then the big man hurt his quad at the start of the playoffs. The Lakers give Cousins all the visibility he wants this season with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster. The question is whether Cousins will start over Kyle Kuzma. ESPN’s Zach Lowe suggested that Cousins should come off the bench.
“Not even a luke warm take: Cousins should come off the bench,” Lowe tweeted.
Cousins latest contract is even less than the deal he signed with Golden State in 2018. Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the Warriors last summer, per Spotrac.
Boogie Cousins Was Unable to Secure a Long-Term Deal
The thought process for Cousins signing a one-year contract with the Warriors was that he would be able to cash in during the 2019 offseason. Cousins waited for a lucrative offer but it never came. Instead, Cousins is once again signing a one-year contract in hopes that he can find a long-term deal in 2020.
Cousins only played 30 games last season averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. The big man appeared in 48 games in 2017 meaning Cousins has played a total of 78 games during the past two seasons. Cousins was initially expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs, but he was able to return for the NBA finals.
“I was just ready to quit,” Cousins explained to ESPN. “Like, throw the towel in. … Human nature is the first thing. It’s like, ‘Why? Why me? Why now? What did I do wrong? Why do I deserve this?’ And that’s not always the case. It’s usually [that] it’s repaying you for the next moment.
Cousins Changed Agents During the 2019 Free Agency
After failing to find a long-term deal, Cousins opted to change agents during free agency. The New York Times’ Marc Stein detailed Cousins’ decision to sign with Jeff Schwartz.
“The former All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, in his search for a new home in free agency after spending last season with the Warriors, has changed representation … enlisting the influential agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports,” Stein tweeted.
Cousins is expected to enter the 2019-20 season healthy and will be looking to improve his stock heading into the 2020 free agency. The Lakers are likely to have cap room next offseason, but it remains to be seen whether the Lakers want to commit to Cousins long-term.