Appearing Wednesday on NBA TV, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that unsigned big man DeMarcus Cousins has spoken with "several" star players across the league, including San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan:
Charania added that several teams are "intrigued" by the prospect of signing him.
Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors last offseason after suffering a torn Achilles during the 2017-18 campaign. He returned to appear in 30 regular-season and eight playoff games for the Warriors in 2018-19.
Coming off the ruptured Achilles, Cousins was limited to a career-low 25.7 minutes per game. Even so, the four-time All-Star was productive, with averages of 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per contest.
If not for the Achilles injury, Cousins likely would have landed a max contract last offseason.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on SportsCenter this week and suggested that Cousins may not even land the mid-level exception he got last year ($5.3 million):
If that's the case, he could be well worth the injury risk for playoff-contending teams like the Spurs, especially if he's willing to take a minimum contract.
There are question marks that come with Cousins, including his durability and on-court volatility, but he is also a skilled and versatile big offensively. His toughness also can't be questioned, as he returned from a torn quad during the playoffs last season.
Aside from LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio has few proven frontcourt players on its roster. Jakob Poeltl and Davis Bertans have potential, but they aren't sure things.
San Antonio is set to enter the 2019-20 season as a fringe playoff contender, and adding Cousins to a core that includes DeRozan, Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Bertans, Derrick White and Dejounte Murray could help the Spurs cement their status as a playoff team.
Plus, if any coach can get the most out of Cousins and limit his vulnerability defensively, Gregg Popovich is likely that guy.