The Houston Rockets roster continues to make changes.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Rockets will part ways with DeMarcus Cousins sometime in the next few days, just one day after guaranteeing his $2.3 million contract for the season.
The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 20, 2021
Fox 26’s Mark Berman says the team could still trade Cousins if a team is interested. The team also guaranteed his contract as a sign of goodwill.
NBA sources confirm #Rockets parting ways w/ DeMarcus Cousins via trade or releasing him. Rockets guaranteed his salary b/c management appreciates his professionalism & how he went about his business. Rockets want to do right by free agents they sign. @ShamsCharania reported 1st— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 20, 2021
In his first basketball action since tearing his ACL in August 2019, Cousins has played in 25 games, averaging 9.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds.
He’s started in 11 games with the Rockets, including the last seven, as Christian Wood is sidelined with a sprained ankle.
Cousins showed flashes of his former self this season, most notably in a game against the Mavericks when he notched season-highs in points (28) and rebounds (17).
Overall, Cousins has been a mixed bag with his three-point shot (33.6%) and has been mostly ineffective on the defensive end. However, he’s proven in Houston that he is a professional and he can still play NBA basketball. He’ll look for opportunities elsewhere.
The timing of the announcement comes as a bit of a surprise considering the Rockets don’t have many options at the center position. Justin Patton, who the team signed last night from the G-League, is the only healthy big on the roster. Christian Wood is still out with an ankle injury. So either Patton is readier than we think or Wood is coming back sooner than we expect.