The list of NBA free agents ready to join potential playoff teams during the Orlando bubble restart is long, and former Kings (and Warriors) big man DeMarcus Cousins wants to stay on it.
Jeff Schwartz, Cousins' agent, told the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli on Tuesday that Cousins has not ruled out signing with a team who will play in Orlando. Schwartz's comments disputed a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania that Cousins, who currently is rehabbing a torn ACL, decided to forgo playing.
Cousins has struggled with injuries over the last two-and-a-half years. He tore his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 26, 2018 while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. The 6-foot-10 center signed a one-year contract with Golden State five months later, but Cousins sat out much of the 2018-19 season while rehabbing.
Once he returned to the court, Cousins was able to make it through 30 regular-season games with the Warriors before tearing his left quadriceps in Game 2 of the team’s first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Resilient in his rehab, Cousins fought his way back for the NBA Finals. He played in all six games for the Warriors, averaging 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18 minutes per game.
After his adventure in Golden State, Cousins signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers to join LeBron James and former teammates Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo. Before the season could start, Cousins took a bad step while playing in a pick-up game and tore his left ACL.
Needing a roster spot, the Lakers waived Cousins on Feb. 24 and made him an unrestricted free agent.
Still just 29, Cousins should have plenty of basketball in front of him if he can get past the series of setbacks. Cousins could spend the next six months or so rehabbing if he doesn't sign with a team since the next NBA season won't start until December at the earliest. Schwartz said Cousins would sign with a team if he felt "comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab."
The NBA has opened a short free agency period through June 30. All 30 teams are allowed to sign players during the period, although only 22 will compete in the restart in Orlando.