The Los Angeles Lakers need a big man since Mo Bamba is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a sprained left ankle. Purple and gold fans who are rooting for a DeMarcus Cousins return shouldn’t get their hopes up, though.
Zach Stevens of Lakers Daily reported on March 20 that the Lakers aren’t interested in bringing Cousins back.
“Sources tell Lakers Daily that general manager Rob Pelinka is not a fan of Cousins,” Stevens wrote. “Apparently, he ‘left a bad taste in Pelinka’s mouth,’ and the team is ‘adamant’ about not signing him.”
Cousins signed with the Lakers during the summer of 2019. However, he never played for the franchise due to a torn left ACL. The four-time All-Star was waived by Los Angeles in February 2020. The Lakers wound up winning the 2020 championship over the Miami Heat at the Walt Disney World bubble in six games.
Cousins played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets last season. He averaged 9.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 48 games. The Kentucky product has career averages of 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds with the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Bucks and Nuggets.
The Lakers Are Working Out Tristan Thompson & Tony Bradley
The Lakers are working out Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley this week, according to Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic. It’s evident that the team is looking for another center.
Thompson has a strong rapport with Lakers superstar LeBron James. The two played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 to 2017-18. The Cavaliers won the 2016 championship over the Warriors in seven games. Thompson, 32, has career averages of 9.0 points and 8.4 rebounds with the Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Kings, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls.
Bradley, meanwhile, was waived by the Bulls in February. He has career averages of 4.4 points and 4.1 rebounds with the Utah Jazz and Bulls.
LeBron James May Not Play Again This Season
Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said on the March 20 episode of his podcast with Marc Stein that it’s not guaranteed James will play again this season. The King has a right foot tendon injury.
“I think obviously the goal is for LeBron to return at some point before the season concludes, but what I’m hearing is that still might be a push right there, him returning at some point,” Haynes said. “I reported a few weeks ago that… the Lakers had to try and do whatever they could to try to win as many games as possible to give LeBron James as much time to recover as possible. So that means that even when he does come back, he might not be fully healthy, but (they are) just trying to buy him some time. With that being said, I don’t know how realistic it is that he returns with some games left in the regular season. That is definitely the goal, LeBron James is shooting for that, I just don’t know how realistic it is right now… Can LeBron come back the final two games of the regular season? … I think definitely that’s a possibility, but I think it’s still premature as of right now. The way it was explained to me is that might be a push right there.”
James, 38, suffered his injury on February 26 against the Dallas Mavericks. The four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists on the season.