Los Angeles Lakers: How will the loss of DeMarcus Cousins affect the Plan?
Up until this week, the NBA offseason had hit a sort of a lull. The exciting parts of free agency are over and summer league finished up weeks ago. It’s gotten to that part of the summer where “NBA Twitter” doesn’t even know what to do with themselves so they’re arguing about literally anything. That is until this week. This past Thursday the Lakers and the NBA as a whole received devastating news regarding DeMarcus Cousins.
A little before noon NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out that DeMarcus Cousins had suffered a knee injury and was to undergo some tests. Later in the day however it was confirmed that Cousins had torn his left ACL. Regardless of personal opinion on Cousins, it was news that was truly awful. During free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Cousins to a 1 yr/$3.5M contract.
Video of DeMarcus Cousins’ ACL injury
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 15, 2019
Last season Boogie joined the Golden State Warriors on a one year deal not only for a chance to win a ring but also to prove to the league he still could be the dominant player he was in New Orleans and Sacramento. The 6-time all-star suffered a torn Achilles in January 2018 as a member of the Pelicans which led him to eventually joining Golden State. After rehabbing he came back to play only to suffer a torn quad in the playoffs.
The acquisition of Anthony Davis this offseason catapulted the Lakers into title contention. They didn’t have much cap space so after the Davis trade there were quite a few bargain barrel signings. With Davis going to play the Power Forward position it meant the Lakers were running with two centers. The loss of Boogie is a loss not just in terms of depth but also in style of play. LeBron James loves a team with shooters around him.
Cousins has established himself as a center that can not only abuse you in the post but also hit the three-ball at a respectable clip. He’s a career 33% shooter from beyond the arc. Not only that, but Cousins is an above-average passer from the center position. Now, this isn’t to say McGee is some scrub. In fact, he had career highs in scoring and rebounding last season for Los Angeles. But he just doesn’t give you the offensive threat that a healthy DeMarcus Cousins can.
With the injury coming in August the Lakers have a little time to find a replacement before the season starts. This move will have to come via trade or free agency and since most teams may be unwilling to trade so late into the offseason, free agency looks like the more feasible option. Now there aren’t any DeMarcus Cousins lying around in the free-agent pool however the Lakers will need someone else to bolster their depth. Dwight Howard, Kenneth Faried, and Joakim Noah are names that have been thrown around early. However, Faried is too undersized to play the center spot and Noah has a history of injuries himself. Dwight Howard could be an option, once the Grizzlies buy-out his contract that is. But will the organization be willing to bring him back for a 2nd stint?
There is still the option of Los Angeles moving Davis to the center position and running a smaller lineup. Whatever the Lakers decide to do you know LeBron will have some heavy input on the decision. According to SportsLine, the Lakers projected win total doesn’t even drop a full game and they’re still expected to be a top 2 seed in the conference. That being said the loss of Boogie isn’t too detrimental to the team but still a loss nonetheless. If anything you just feel for Cousins who has had a string of injury bad luck the last few seasons.
How do you feel about the loss of DeMarcus Cousins for the Los Angeles Lakers? Leave a comment below.
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