Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

John Wall says he talked to DeMarcus Cousins about joining forces but timing wrong

New Orleans Pelicans v Washington Wizards

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans and John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards talk during a first half timeout at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Getty Images

John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are buddies, going back to Kentucky in college when they teamed up (with Patrick Patterson) on a 35-3 team that went to the Elite Eight before bowing out.

Since they both got to the NBA the duo has talked about teaming up again — and they did so last summer, too, the timing was just off. Wall spoke to Ben Standig of The Sports Capitol about it (the story is behind a pay wall, but if you’re a DC sports fan you should be investing in their coverage).

“At the time I [thought] we needed a center who could play right [away],” Wall told The Sports Capitol about his free agency talks with Cousins. “Nine times out of 10 [Cousins] is not going to be ready at the beginning of the season. I think we need a guy who can be a starting center right now.”

Cousins, coming off a torn Achilles, more likely will not be ready to play until, at best, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cousins signed with Golden State, a team that can wait for him to get healthy and not pressure him to be back because they need the wins.

Washington will need the wins from their opening game (and they have a big, nationally televised game Oct. 20 against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors). Washington ended up signing Dwight Howard at center, who is healthy and was solid for Charlotte last season.

NBA players discuss teaming up all the time, but usually practical considerations get in the way. That’s what happened here. Cousins wasn’t getting July 1 offers and started calling around, but the Wizards were never going to be a good fit. Not now, anyway.

Cousins will be a free agent again next summer, and then the Kentucky reunion talk can start again.