10-day signee DeMarcus Cousins could make his LA Clippers debut tomorrow against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Clippers’ most recent injury report did not list Cousins, so it is safe to assume that, at the very least, he’ll be available to play. Head Coach Tyronn Lue will want to see how Cousins fits in LA’s system as a backup center, particularly while Serge Ibaka continues to miss time with lower back tightness.
Cousins struggled as a Houston Rocket earlier this season, shooting just 37.6% from the field in 25 games played. He has dealt with ACL and Achilles tears in the last three years, and has yet to look like the dominant, low-post force that he was in Sacramento and New Orleans. Those days are behind him, but his remaining skillset could help him contribute to a team in a limited role. He’s a solid jump-shooter, which is extremely desirable for a center, and his handle and passing vision make him a good ball-mover in any offense. Defensively, the Clippers will likely have to resort to a drop coverage in pick-and-roll when Cousins is on the court, as he is too immobile to switch onto smaller players.
Even if Cousins plays well enough to earn a contract for the remainder of the season, it is unlikely he’ll have a significant role come playoff time, as he’ll be playing behind both Ivica Zubac and Serge Ibaka (should both of them be healthy). Still, he provides LA with a unique look for the time being, and there is really no downside to testing the waters with a player who was once All-NBA caliber.