Report: DeMarcus Cousins to Sign Clippers Contract Pending COVID-19 Protocols

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2021

Houston Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Veteran center DeMarcus Cousins is signing a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN noted Cousins needs to test negative for COVID-19 six times before he'll be cleared to exit the NBA's health and safety protocols. The four-time All-Star should be cleared by Monday barring any setbacks.

ESPN's Bobby Marks noted how the timing would benefit the Clippers:

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

The Clippers have to meet the roster requirement of 14 players by Monday. They currently have 13 (not including 2 Way players). Monday is 2 weeks since Mfiondu Kabengele was traded to Sacramento. https://t.co/FbHbhLoVPj

Cousins averaged 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in 25 appearances for the Houston Rockets. He struggled offensively, though, shooting 37.6 percent from the field. That was due partially to the fact that more than half (55.2 percent) of his field goals came from beyond the arc, per Basketball Reference, and he hit 33.6 percent of his long-range jumpers.

Between rupturing his Achilles tendon and tearing his ACL, the 30-year-old is no longer the athletic big man he was during his best years with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.

The current version of Cousins is still serviceable in a reserve role, and the Clippers already have Serge Ibaka and Ivica Zubac as options at the 5. A back injury has sidelined Ibaka, thus opening a spot for Cousins to occupy a meaningful role for the time being.

This move ultimately doesn't carry a ton of downside for Los Angeles, which is loading up for the stretch run and postseason. The Clippers don't need Cousins to be a big difference-maker, so it will be an added bonus if he immediately meshes with his new teammates and makes a positive impact on the court.