One thing players in the NBA are constantly reminded of is that the league is a business and many times there are uncomfortable decisions that have to be made. The Los Angeles Lakers made one of those this week, deciding to waive veteran big man DeMarcus Cousins to make room for Markieff Morris.
Cousins had been rehabbing, hoping to make a return this season from a torn ACL in his left knee. There were rumors that Cousins — a four-time All-Star — could return for a playoff run for the Lakers, but the team opted instead to bring in someone who can immediately make an impact in Morris, who agreed to a buyout with the Pistons earlier in the week.
“I’m not even sure where he’s at with exactly what he’s doing day-to-day. I just still know he’s a long way away, but they’ve said they’re not ruling out him returning,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters during the All-Star Break.
With the high-expectations that come with playing in Los Angeles in the purple and gold, fringe players have grown used to the constant rumors and possibility of being moved under the right sets of circumstances. Lakers guard Alex Caruso has battled his way into the rotation in his third season in LA, but understands that and shared his feelings on the Cousins move with Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.
“It’s the ground that comes with playing in L.A. So to be honest, it’s just every day. It’s just kind of a normal day where something comes out or you hear something. That’s kind of the NBA nowadays,” Caruso said.
DeMarcus Cousins a Big Presence in Lakers Locker Room
While Cousins didn’t make it on to the floor this season with the Lakers, he still played a large role in street clothes thanks to the chemistry and insight he brought while on the bench.
“DeMarcus has been here rehabbing and been a great member of this team behind the scenes that nobody gets to see because the only thing he can do is be a good teammate and travel, and show up to every game and have a good attitude,” Caruso told Goon. “And he’s done that and been one of the best teammates as far as just keeping everybody’s energy high and not too low.”
The Lakers are expected to make the move final on Sunday after Morris clears waivers, but have mostly proceeded as normal in terms of Cousins’ presence.
That’s because Cousins is expected to stay with the team as he continues his rehab, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
“I’m told DeMarcus Cousins plans to remain with the Lakers for the remainder of the season to continue rehabbing his torn ACL,” Charania reported via Stadium.
Morris Brothers Take Over LA With Clippers, Lakers
Despite the Morris twins being on different teams — Marcus with the Clippers and Markieff eventually with the Lakers — they plan to stay tight in what will be a unique situation for the Los Angeles rivalry.
“That’s my brother man. Man, if he goes to L.A., then I’m gonna be in Staples Center all the time,” Marcus told ESPN. “I think maybe to y’all it might be weird that I’m going to all his games, but that’s what’ll probably happen. And we’ll probably get a house together.
“If one of us wins, we both win. That’s how we look at it. Obviously, I’m a Clipper, I’d love to win, we’re definitely gonna be competitors, but we’re both gonna work hard. It’ll probably be the first time where two players from two different teams are actually working out together. That’s gonna be cool.”
Marcus Morris is averaging 19.6 per game this season — a career-high. Markieff is scoring 11 points and shooting a shade under 40 percent from 3-point land.
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