Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Turned Down Chance to Sign DeMarcus Cousins

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018 file photo New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins (0) shoots a free throw in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, Tenn. Cousins will be ready to play at some point this season. And when he is, the two-time defending NBA champions will be waiting. Adding a fifth All-Star to their already glitzy lineup, the Golden State Warriors have come to terms with Cousins on a one-year, $5.3 million deal _ not the biggest money move on Day 2 of the NBA Free Agency period, but the most intriguing. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, file)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Before agreeing to join the Golden State Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins gave the Los Angeles Lakers an opportunity to sign him.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Tuesday that the All-Star center presented the Lakers with a chance to add him at a salary similar to the $5.3 mid-level exception he received from Golden State, but they decided to go in a different direction. 

Stein added Wednesday that the Lakers passed on signing Cousins because of concerns with his Achilles injury, which could keep him out until January or February. Magic Johnson and Jeanie Buss want the Lakers to compete next season and didn't feel the timing of this signing would align with their strategy, per Stein.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Marc J. Spears reported the Lakers put in a call to Cousins when free agency began and he was expected to have a meeting with the team at some point. 

That was before LeBron James agreed to sign with the Lakers on Sunday. Since the four-time NBA MVP made his decision, Los Angeles' front office has been adding players mostly on one-year deals, including Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee. 

Cousins is working his way back from a ruptured Achilles suffered during a Jan. 26 game against the Houston Rockets. He told Spears after agreeing to sign with the Warriors that his goal is to be back by the start of training camp. 

When healthy last season, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 48 games for the New Orleans Pelicans