DeMarcus Cousins and Rockets Expected to Part Ways

DeMarcus Cousins with USA Basketball in 2016. Photo by Heuler Andrey/Agif/REX/Shutterstock

The Houston Rockets and DeMarcus Cousins are going their separate ways just two months into the season. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Rockets plan to release Cousins and will make the move official in the next several days.

Charania reported that the Rockets want to play a smaller lineup while also giving a chance to their younger players. This would limit the minutes for Cousins, something that both the team and the player didn’t want to see happening.

Cousins returned from an ACL tear this season, inking a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Rockets in December. During his time in Houston, the 30-year-old former All-Star mostly played off the bench but managed to be fairly productive in that role.

In 25 games as a Rocket, Cousins averaged 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds while playing 20.2 minutes per game. His form was especially top-notch as of late, scoring in double digits in the last four games, including a 19-point effort against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Despite struggling to remain on the court in recent years, DeMarcus Cousins is expected to attract a significant interest among championship contenders. While he is long removed from his All-Star form, Cousins still can be a significant contributor in the right system and with the right workload that would minimize injury risk.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the main favorites to land Cousins at the moment, but they are expected to face competition from the Portland Trail Blazers and NY Knicks, among other teams.