Report: Lakers to Waive DeMarcus Cousins Ahead of Stretch Run

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Lakers are waiving big man DeMarcus Cousins, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. 

Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal in July but suffered a torn left ACL in August and has been rehabbing throughout the 2019-20 season.

He averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds last year in 30 regular-season games with the Warriors. Golden State signed Cousins to a one-year, $5.3 million deal in 2018 while he was recovering from a torn left Achilles.

The decision to waive Cousins comes as a result of the team reportedly signing Markieff Morris to shore up their rotation.

Cousins recently appeared as a guest on Showtime's "All the Smoke" podcast with hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, where he discussed what his possible postseason role would look like.

"We got a big team. It's going to be some bump, for sure," he said. "We got so many guys with different abilities. I mean, I can spot up. Bron is going to draw everybody whenever he decides to move. I'm pretty confident I can knock down the shot. We got shooters all over the floor. I mean, I can playmake. Like, it's pick your poison."

LeBron James also recently weighed in on Cousins' status.

"Listen, first, his health is the thing we're mostly engaging in and watching him. And he's progressed every single day, every single month," he said after practice Thursday. "To the point where he was limping and now he's actually shooting and actually jumping on the jump shots, and progressing every single day, every single week. He's out there right now, getting his work done.

"We want to continue to stay optimistic about his health. We don't want no setbacks, as he's had before in the last couple years. But his health is most important, and if we can get Cuz anywhere back to what he was capable of doing a couple years ago, it's a plus for us. But there's no pressure on him."

The New York Times' Marc Stein noted Friday that league rules allow a injured player who is waived to continue rehabbing with that team. Cousins is unlikely to be formally released by the Lakers until Sunday. Per Stein, he is expected to continue accessing the Lakers facilities in his comeback from an ACL tear if needed.

On Saturday, Stadium's Shams Charania reported Cousins will remain with the Lakers for the rest of the season to continue rehabbing his ACL.

Over the summer, a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Cousins on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Mobile, Ala. But the charges of third-degree harassing communications and a misdemeanor case were dismissed in November.

The 41-12 Lakers come out of the All-Star break on Friday night when they host the Grizzlies.