The past few seasons have been a steep and steady decline for DeMarcus Cousins, who was once considered one of the NBA elite big men. Injuries have caused him to miss significant stretches of the past three seasons as his journey has taken him from New Orleans to Golden State and to Los Angeles.
And now, his future in the league is as uncertain as it’s ever been. On Thursday, Cousins had made an appearance on the “All The Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen, during which he talked about his hopefulness to return to action for the Lakers in time for what they anticipate to be a deep postseason run.
But Cousins’ time with the Lakers has abruptly come to an end, as Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported on Friday that the organization has decided to waive him.
Lakers are waiving DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell @Ramonashelburne and me.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 22, 2020
Cousins had signed with the Lakers in the offseason, in large part because Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Rajon Rondo made a convincing pitch to him over the summer. But Cousins ended up suffering a torn ACL in August, which put his entire season in jeopardy.
Still, until recently, the team had not closed the door on the possibility of his return by the start of the postseason, but head coach Frank Vogel also admitted this week that he wasn’t close to a return. The move ultimately gives the Lakers flexibility as they will surely look to bolster their roster as the buyout market ramps up before March 1.
Despite the news, Cousins still showed up to the arena, dressed out in Lakers gear, and was shooting around with the team during warmups, which left some scratching their heads.
DeMarcus Cousins is now warming up with Phil Handy pic.twitter.com/cBncTN8HBO
— Lauren A. Jones (@LoJoMedia) February 22, 2020
By way of explanation, Cousins won’t officially be waived until Sunday, and it’s thought that he may still remain with the team as he continues his rehab.