During his introductory press conference, Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone made it a priority to acquire a big man ahead of the 2020-21 season. At the start of free agency, Stone delivered on his promise by signing free agent big man Christian Wood to a three-year $41 million deal on Friday — and has his eyes set on another.
According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Rockets have expressed interest in free-agent center DeMarcus Cousins. The report came a few hours after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the former All-Star was receiving “some early attention” from multiple teams via Twitter.
In addition to Christian Wood, the Rockets spoke with Demarcus Cousins’ camp earlier today, a source told @TheAthletic. Houston is exploring the big man market.— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) November 21, 2020
If the Rockets were to sign Cousins, perhaps his arrival to Houston could be enough to persuade James Harden and Russell Westbrook to cease their trade request. Throughout his career, the four-time All-Star has always been a versatile low-post presence who can stretch the floor with his three-point shot when needed.
Before injuries derailed his career, Cousins was once the league’s best big man averaging 21.5 points, 11 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as a member of the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. In 2019, he returned from an Achilles injury and proved he could still play at a high-level averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds with the Golden State Warriors.
Cousins signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason but missed the entire 2019-20 season due to an ACL injury. The Lakers waived the 30-year-old Alabama native in February.
The Dream Shake will continue to update this free agency story as it develops.