Just two years ago, Demarcus Cousins was considered the best center in the league, and proved so, averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. “Boogie” as many people call him was on the Sacramento Kings, and was ready for a change of scenery after never making the playoffs 6 seasons, leading to a lack of popularity for him. This changed when he was traded to the Pelicans, and pairing him with Anthony Davis was supposed to solidify him as one of the best bigs of his generation. This all changed on January 26th 2018.
With 15 seconds left in a regular season game against the Houston Rockets, Demarcus Cousins went to the free throw line, hoping to seal the game. On his second attempt, he missed, and in an attempt to get his own rebound, jumped and landed very awkwardly on his achilles. The Pelicans confirmed he tore his achilles and would be out a year, a devastating injury for one of the best bigs in the league. So yeah, that was a big negative, but he was a free agent the next season, and he was about to get paid a lot of money by a team who needs him.
Demarcus Cousins continued the trend of shocking the NBA, signing a deal with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors for only 5.3 million, after being projected to make over 20 million. When Cousins came back, the Warriors would have the best starting 5 in NBA history, and they had no excuse to lose another game the rest of the season with 5 all stars on the floor at once.
That is where everyone was wrong. Cousins came back and look tired, not as aggressive, and almost uninterested. The Warriors actually saw themselves doing worse when he played, and a lot of the time Cousins would come off the bench in favor of a much lower player in Kevon Looney. He still averaged decent numbers this season, with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and shot 48% from the field, a career high, but it was clearly his worst season since his rookie year.
So here comes free agency where Cousins is in a stacked class featuring Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving. After only making 5 million last year, Cousins was looking for a payday, or at least 10 million. Now, with no teams even looking at him, it looks like we might not see Demarcus Cousins next season, and if we do, probably only for 2-3 million. Anything can happen in 2 years, and unfortunately Demarcus Cousins learned the hard way.
With all this being sad, I do hope he finds a home and returns to his old self. If you somehow read this Demarcus, I’m rooting for you!