After tearing his Achilles with the New Orleans Pelicans, his ACL with the Los Angeles Lakers and his quad with the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins is finally starting to get back to his old self.
While he’ll likely never be the dynamic four-time All-Star big man he was, Cousins has shown enough to get his contract fully guaranteed for the remainder of the season by Houston, per ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski.
Cousins is set to make the veteran’s minimum which is $2.56 million.
It was a good “prove yourself” deal that landed him with former Wildcat teammate John Wall, who is also breaking out into his former self following a plethora of injuries that had kept him sidelined the past year and a half.
As for Cousins, he’s received an additional opportunity with up-and-coming star Christian Wood having tweaked his ankle. So far this season, the 6-foot-10 Cousins is averaging 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Starting 11 games and playing in 20, the former Kentucky Wildcats star clearly isn’t as mobile as he used to be, but that’s to be expected following the significant injuries and rehab he was put through over the last few years.
Likely going to remain a Rocket (not be traded) till the end of the season, Cousins impact, skillset, and contract could make him an ideal trade target for teams needing just a touch for depth in their frontcourt.
A reunion with the Warriors shouldn’t be too out of the question. That said, it’s been terrific seeing him back and staying free from injury. While it certainly may be injury-related, Cousins’ efficiency has taken a significant dip.
He’s shooting under 40 percent for the first time in his career. That’s where he can improve, and as a big man that gets most of his shots within the paint, it should be expected to hit that 40 percent mark before the end of the season.
Nonetheless, Cousins having his contract fully guaranteed goes to show the level of dedication and work he’s put in to continue to play the sport at such a high level.