According to a report by Shams Charania, the Houston Rockets and DeMarcus Cousins are officially parting ways. Cousins will finish his stint with the Rockets averaging 9.6/7.6/2.4. Boogie will be looking to join his 5th team in the last 5 years
While a far cry from the 20 & 10 guy he was for much of his career, Boogie hasn’t completely lost his step. See, while 7.6 rebounds doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s important to note that Boogie only played 20.2 minutes a game spending a considerable amount of time backing up Christian Wood.
However, when he was actually on the court? Cousins grabbed 34% of the possible rebounds on the defensive end. That is good for 2nd in the league behind only Andre Drummond (38%). Boogie didn’t expend all his energy on the glass either; He’s no DPOY contender but Cousins has performed admirably on that side of the ball. According to DunksandThrees‘ defensive catch-all metric Defensive Estimated Plus-Minus (or DEPM), Cousins grades out at +2 on that side of the ball. That is good for 32nd in the league.
There are 5 teams, in particular, teetering around contender status that could (or should) give the big man a call due to their issues on D and inability to grab a rebound.
Because Cousins, as it turns out, may be the perfect remedy for their woes.
DRTG (26th) Defensive Rebounding Percentage (21st)
Their defense has been abysmal, and despite having talent on the boards in Deandre Jordan, James Harden, and Kevin Durant, they’ve given up 343 offensive rebounds, ( 29th in the league). DeMarcus Cousins would be the perfect candidate to right the ship. Jarrett Allen would’ve helped here tremendously too, but when you get the chance to trade for James Harden, you trade for James Harden. Boogie and the Beard would have to smooth some things over after Cousins’ remarks about Harden’s exit from Houston. The Nets may view another potential Hall of Famer as too many cooks in the kitchen, but the on-court prospects are intriguing.
DRTG (25th) Defensive Rebounding Percentage (22nd)
Currently in talks to send Kristaps Porzingis to the Golden State Warriors, the Mavs are gonna need another rotational Big-man sooner than later. The Mavericks have fared slightly better than the Nets on the defensive glass. They are allowing opponents 302 offensive rebounds (14th league-wide). But without Porzingis and his 7’3 frame that’d surely be bound to get worse. Boogie’s 34% shooting from deep would mesh perfectly with Luka Doncic’s drive and kick style and provide much-needed toughness and a veteran presence to the locker room.
Los Angeles Lakers
DRTG (1st) Defensive Rebounding Percentage (2nd)
Despite the numbers not spelling a clear need for a player with Boogie’s talents, the Lakers’ reported interest in Hassan Whiteside makes it clear they’re looking for just about anybody they can get. Seriously, if you’re reading this and you’re at least 6’10”, shoot Rob Pelinka an email and he’ll have a 10-day on the table by tonight. Cousins spent some time with the team last season before a torn ACL ended his season. If nothing else, signing Anthony Davis‘ former New Orleans teammate would be a show of good faith from the organization.
Portland Trail Blazers
DRTG (29th) Defensive Rebounding Percentage (20th)
The Blazer’s defense is terrible this year. Just like the year before, and the year before that. Which seems to pose a bit of a problem as it gets hard to win games without at least a decent one. They made an attempt to improve by trading for Robert Covington, but so far it hasn’t cut it and the Blazers have to make a splash if they want to become true contenders. A Cousins signing wouldn’t fix it all, but, it wouldn’t hurt. We know the Blazers are open to picking up aging former stars.
DRTG (11th) Defensive Rebounding Percentage (23rd)
Despite an ice-cold start to the year, the Raptors find themselves in a decent place. Staring at the possibility of a top-4 seed there’s a big decision to be made in Toronto (Tampa?) about where this franchise is going. More importantly, where they want to be. Their core is young enough that they wouldn’t have to commit to a full rebuild. If the rumors about Kyle Lowry being on his way to Philadelphia are true, signing DeMarcus Cousins would be a great way to help replace the leadership lost by shipping out the long-time star.
All stats, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of Basketball Reference (Accurate as of 2/24/2021)