After going down with a torn quad early in the playoffs, DeMarcus Cousins somehow came back earlier than expected and was able to contribute some quality minutes in the NBA Finals. Despite having the entire offseason to rehab his injury, the free agency market for Cousins was barren this summer once again – allowing the Lakers to bring the talented big man onboard for barely more than the league minimum.
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Lakers’ DeMarcus Cousins Says His Quad is “100% Healed”
With a fully healthy quad and a goal to play in every single game this season, DeMarcus Cousins looks in line for a huge bounce-back campaign. At his best, Cousins is a brutalizing interior force with the ability to step back and stretch opposing defenses. While not an elite athlete, Cousins has a massive wingspan and uses his strength advantage exceptionally well in the low post.
Cousins can be a bit of a liability when trapped on the perimeter against a guard but with old teammate Anthony Davis back alongside him, he should feel much more confident about the help defense and rim protection behind him in those situations. With a full offseason to work on preparing his body, expect Cousins to look a lot more mobile on the court this season as well – something that should help improve his defensive performance as well.
If Cousins even ends up getting back to 75% of the All-NBA player he was prior to his initial Achilles’ injury, the Lakers could have themselves the steal of the free agency season.
Lakers Sign Devontae Cacok to Exhibit 10 Contract
Devontae Cacok has made a name for himself in the Las Vegas Summer League. Despite the Lakers horrendous record in Vegas, Cacok has continually shined as an undersized big man. Despite listed as only 6’7″, Cacok has exceptional athleticism that he takes advantage of for easy lobs in transition and in pick and roll sets. While he is incredibly raw defensively, the most likely scenario is that Cacok winds up getting cut from the Lakers’ regular season roster and re-signs with the G-League squad to earn his Exhibit 10 money. This bodes well for Cacok who could likely use another year to develop – and gets to do so in a system known for excellent player development.
Cacok’s motor has stood out as his defining factor in Summer League. His ability to continually find himself in the middle of the action on both ends of the court and come through with impact plays is something that really can’t be quantified in the stat sheet. However, Cacok’s strong – and timely – play has been crucial in keeping the Lakers even remotely competitive in Las Vegas.