If DeMarcus Cousins is ready to part way with the Houston Rockets, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on February 20, it would be a smart move for the Miami Heat to make a serious offer to obtain the veteran center.
The former first-round pick out of Kentucky, who stands at 6-foot-10, could be the perfect big man to complement Heat star Bam Adebayo. While Miami has retained most of their team from their 2020 Finals run, they never found a true replacement for Jae Crowder, one of the many reasons Miami has found themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 13-17 record.
Based on Charnia’s report, in which he tweeted, “Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere,” it almost reads as a calling card to the Heat which is stacked with young talent: Kendrick Nunn, 25, KZ Okpala, 21, Precious Achiuwa, 21, Max Strus, 24, and Tyler Herro, 21.
Thus far in the 2020-2021 NBA season, Boogie is averaging 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. While there are rumors that Cousins might want to take his talents back to the Los Angeles Lakers, from a financial standpoint, such a move seems wildly unlikely to happen.
The Houston Rockets have guaranteed center DeMarcus Cousins' $2.3M contract for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN. Teams have until February 27 to make that decision on non-guaranteed deals.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 19, 2021
“If it is about money then that is the problem there for [the Lakers],” one general manager told Heavy.com. “Cousins never got that big second contract in the NBA. He might want to make the most money he can with this, and he can’t make much with the Lakers.”
As for the Heat, South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman could absolutely see Miami bidding on Cousins after his buyout. He said:
Not going to deny the possibility immediately becoming intriguing. For years, the Heat have been linked to DeMarcus, and, like Bam Adebayo, he does have the ability to orchestrate the offense from the elbow. But he certainly is not a stretch big man, by any means, nor was/is much in the way of a defender. And there have been, and likely will continue to be, questions about the mobility.
Miami no longer has time to be precious with their roster if they want to turn this season around. Winderman urges the Heat to shake things up and make a roster spot available:
If this type of opportunity comes at minimal cost, you at least have to make a bid. Of course, the counter is that the Heat currently have a losing record and chasing playoff minutes could prove more attractive elsewhere, for example with the Nets or Lakers. But once the Heat receive their disabled-player exception from Meyers Leonard’s season-ending shoulder surgery, they at least will be able to come with a competitive bid, one that would not come with an attached luxury tax.
Despite Their Losing Record, the Heat are Still in the Playoff Hunt & Looking to Make ‘A Deal or 2’
On February 18, Five Reasons Sports Network’s Ethan J. Skolnick tweeted, “Spoke today to several people around NBA who have regular interactions with Heat. Consensus: A deal or 2 is coming, but not a panic deal. They seem to have more confidence in front office to do the smart thing than many fans currently do.”
It’s too early to give up on the season. The Heat are still only a few seeds out of playoff contention as the Eastern Conference as a whole appears to be in a slump.
The Heat Have Been Linked to 6 Other Free Agent Options
Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment that is coming off an NBA Finals run only and to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.
The Heat missed out on obtaining James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while it was blow to hear Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal say he wants to remain in Washington, Miami still have their eyes on more than a few players around the league.
Big names tossed around thus far include the following players:
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin
Sacramento Kings Nemanja Bjelica
San Antonio Spurs Rudy Gay
Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond
Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry
Toronto Raptors Lonzo Ball