The Milwaukee Bucks are set to sign veteran center DeMarcus Cousins, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins plans to sign a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 28, 2021
The one-year, non-guaranteed deal brings Cousins back in action for the first time since last season.
The four-time All-Star played in 41 games during the 2020-21 season, 25 coming with the Houston Rockets with the other 16 coming with the LA Clippers.
He played a situational role for the Clippers in the postseason, averaging 7.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game, making seven appearances.
Most notably, Cousins went for 15 points in the Clippers’ Game 5 win over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals to help keep their NBA Finals hopes alive, then followed that up with 12 points in Game 6.
At 31 years old, with significant injuries like a ruptured Achilles back in 2018 and a torn quad in 2019, what can Cousins bring to the Bucks?
Can DeMarcus Cousins help the Bucks?
The defending champions have been dealing with a number of injuries and illnesses to start the 2021-22 season. According to Spotrac, only three teams in the league have missed more man-games to injury.
Among those injuries, the most significant in respect to the Cousins signing is starting center Brook Lopez, who has only appeared in one game so far this season.
After starting in 219 of 220 games played since joining the Bucks back in 2018, Lopez has been sidelined since opening night with a back injury. As a result, Milwaukee have relied heavily on star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and key reserve Bobby Portis to fill those minutes at center, and likely felt it needed more depth in the frontcourt.
Although Cousins is far from the All-Star center he once was, he still brings size at 6-foot-10, 270 pounds and can play physical in the paint and use up fouls against opposing bigs.
There shouldn’t be an expectation of him to come in and play big minutes for the Bucks, but rather be used in a similar situational role as we saw with the Clippers in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
He can provide a presence on the floor on defence and on the glass on both sides of the ball, along with small doses of scoring from inside and out.
The former two-time All-NBA member will look to hold things down as a reserve big until the Bucks get Lopez back in the lineup.