The DeMarcus Cousins-Houston Rockets marriage did not last very long.
A tough season for the Rockets continued to get tougher when the franchise decided to part ways with veteran big man DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday in what is being characterized as a mutual decision from both sides, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Though Boogie has been a great locker room presence and a solid offensive player for Houston, the 30-year-old has become a liability on defense and head coach Stephen Silas’ unwillingness to play Cousins alongside up-and-coming big man Christian Wood in the frontcourt made the former four-time All-Star’s presence on the team somewhat redundant.
As a token of their gratitude, the Rockets kept Cousins on long enough to fully guarantee his veteran minimum $2.3 million salary. The two-time All-NBA Second Teamer will now search for a better fit on a contender whom he can help make a deep playoff run.
Cousins had been looking to revive his career in Houston after serious injuries stole his prime years from him. Boogie has been putting up 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds on 38 percent shooting from the floor in 25 appearances for Houston this season.
The Rockets got 20’d on Monday night without their veteran big man, and their first game since his release will be on Wednesday against the 10-win Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland is a +240 NBA odds underdog against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. That means they could be vulnerable enough when they meet Houston the next night to give the Rockets their first win in their last nine tries, which could be a sneaky good NBA pick.
Houston has likely lowered their expectations for this season with Cousins now gone and Wood and guard Victor Oladipo also out for the foreseeable future. Houston has the second-worst record in the West, and could very well drop into the cellar if they can’t find a win soon.
Cousins, for his part, will surely be looking to join a contending team with his eye toward the playoffs and a possible ring to cap off his near-tragic career. An Achilles rupture ended his 2017-2018 season early, a quad tear did the same in 2018-2019, and an ACL tear kept him from ever playing a game for the Lakers, who cut him last season before going on to win a title.
It’s clear that Boogie still has something to offer, and while he might not see a huge role with whoever signs him, he will add a ton of talent and what has become a solid locker room presence. Teams that are strapped in the frontcourt like the Boston Celtics or the Los Angeles Lakers—depending on Anthony Davis’ health—could definitely use his size.
The former number five overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft has averaged 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in his career.