In a recent interview, Washington Wizards’ star John Wall declared his desire to see the team sign DeMarcus Cousins. Could he be the missing piece in DC?
NBA players seeking to team up together is anything but a new phenomenon. It’s been clear for some time that one player, no matter how great, isn’t quite enough to win championships in this league, so the most obvious move is for those great players to gather together players of equal caliber or outstanding fit. In the case of John Wall, he may have found the man he believes could best complete a Big 3 for the Washington Wizards: DeMarcus Cousins.
In a recent Instagram Live interview, Wall told ESPN’s Marc Spears that he was lobbying the Wizards to sign Cousins. This has been an ongoing effort for Wall, dating back several years, but there may never be a better time if the Wizards are actually inclined to make a move.
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Cousins has been battling injuries ever since rupturing his Achilles in January of 2018 when playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. He signed a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the Golden State Warriors that summer, and after spending most of the regular season rehabbing appeared in 30 games late in the year.
He then tore his left quad in the first round of the 2018-19 playoffs, missing most of the next couple rounds before appearing in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors opted not to re-sign him, and instead, he was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers last summer to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. As has become tradition for DeMarcus Cousins, during an August workout, he tore his left Achilles and has been out of action ever since.
Just a few years ago with the Sacramento Kings, Cousins was on the verge of signing one of the league’s first super-max contracts. Now, just a couple months shy of his 30th birthday, he looks to be on his third straight make-good minimum (or near-minimum) contract.
If there was ever a time for the Washington Wizards to acquiesce to John Wall’s request, now might be it. Cousins could join Wall and dynamic scorer Bradley Beal and do so at the most affordable price possible. The days of expecting superstar-level production out of DeMarcus Cousins are likely long behind us, but there’s value in working to keep your stars happy, and this would do it.
On a roster like the Wizards and a clear hierarchy where he knows his role, the fit could be ideal for both him and the team.
Over a four-year stretch between 2015 and 2018, Cousins averaged 25.9 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. With so much missed time over the past couple of years, we may never see him reach those heights again, but the only way to find out if some of that dynamic player is still inside him somewhere is to give him the chance to do it.
John Wall, Bradley Beal and DeMarcus Cousins won’t make a true Big 3 with championship aspirations, but the Washington Wizards may very well be the team to find out just what his limits and capabilities are next season with the Washington Wizards.