There aren’t too many dominant big men in the NBA right now.
Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are the two that immediately come to mind, and one could even toss in players like Bam Adebayo and Giannis Antetokounmpo (if you consider the Greek Freak a true big man).
Nonetheless, the options are slim, and former Kentucky Wildcats star DeMarcus Cousins was at one time among the best big men in the NBA. Cousins started his career with the Sacramento Kings, where he averaged 27.8 points per game in his final season before being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
From quad tears to Achilles and ACL injuries, Cousins has been through the wringer with physical issues, but he has been back and could earn another chance in the NBA.
At least Stephen A. Smith, who went on Podcast P with NBA star Paul George, believes that. Smith went all the way to call Cousins a top-five big man in the NBA. That could be a stretch, but the talent is there.
“He’s got game bro. And I’m not gonna rest (on that belief). You’ve got people looking at me like, ‘He’s not a fit.’ I’m like, shut the hell up. DeMarcus Cousins right now would be a top-five big man in basketball. Period,” Smith said.
Cousins didn’t play in the 2022-2023 season, but he did manage 48 games between the Bucks and Nuggets in the season prior. He averaged 9.0 points per game during that stretch.
Back in April, Cousins signed with the Guaynabo Mets of a Puerto Rican pro league, but there’s no question he still has what it takes to play in the NBA. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the 33-year-old back in the league before his pro basketball career comes to an end.