The Los Angeles Lakers added DeMarcus Cousins in NBA free agency following a two-season stretch which was derailed a bit by injuries. While the talented big man flashed upside last year with the Golden State Warriors, he missed half of the regular season along with the bulk of the playoffs.
Fortunately, it appears that Cousins is now feeling good after a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered during the 2017-18 season, along with a torn quad in the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs. During a recent Q&A with Hoops Hype’s Alex Kennedy, his former and current teammate, Quinn Cook spoke about the center while revealing that Cousins is now 100 percent healthy.
“DeMarcus now gets to have a whole summer where he’s not just focused on rehabbing – he can focus on getting better as a player and he’ll go into the season 100 percent healthy …” Cook stated.
“… I’m excited to see what he can do after having a whole summer of becoming better on the court and not worrying about his health. I know he’s 100 percent now.”
It’s great to hear this from Cook, who spent all of last year with Cousins and surely saw the hard work the 28-year-old put in. Now, both players are eyeing the potential for big workloads while playing alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the rest of the new-look Lakers this season.
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Lakers’ New-Look Roster & Potential Starting Lineup
The Lakers could opt to go a number of ways with their roster and starting lineup this season. They have an intriguing amount of depth, specifically at the two guard spots and small forward. First, here’s a look at the latest outlook for the team’s roster following a number of major offseason moves.
Centers: DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee
Forwards: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jared Dudley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kostas Antetokounmpo (Two-Way)
Guards: Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, Alex Caruso, Zach Norvell Jr. (Two-Way)
While LeBron is listed as a forward, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported previously that he could start at point guard. In turn, this would allow the Lakers to utilize a starting lineup featuring James, Green, Kuzma, Davis and Cousins. There’s been no confirmation of that plan yet, but it’d create a number of mismatches which would benefit the team.
DeMarcus Cousins Called ‘X Factor’ Signing
The Lakers have to feel good about the addition of Cousins, as he adds a legitimate starting center to the roster. We’ve also seen him play well next to Davis previously while creating one of the NBA’s strongest frontcourt duos, assuming Cousins is able to return to form.
It appears Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka agrees with how important the signing of Cousins is. During a recent press conference, Pelinka called the former Warriors center one of the team’s X-factors.
“DeMarcus making a commitment to come here, he just complemented and played so well with AD in New Orleans. You can just tell he made a commitment to his body and just having a huge year. I said yesterday, I think Boogie is one of the X-factors for us.” Pelinka stated.
Assuming Cousins gets the starting nod next to Davis, the argument could be made that the Lakers have the best first five in the entire NBA. How the frontcourt duo, along with LeBron and company are able to mesh should be an interesting storyline to watch, but it’s bound to be a lot of fun.