It’s safe to say Paul George was happy that the LA Clippers’ front office elected to retain DeMarcus Cousins.
After his second 10-Day contract expired, the team announced it would be signing Cousins to a deal for the remainder of the season (the salary figure was not disclosed). George was asked postgame what his thoughts on the signing were, and his answer could not be more concise.
It’s not hard to see why. Cousins has been solid in his role as a backup center since joining the team. While the team still has a -5.4 net rating with Cousins on the floor, his efficiency has improved vastly this season when comparing his LA numbers to his brief Rockets’ tenure earlier in the year. Cousins is shooting 47.3% from the field as opposed to 37.6% back in Houston, (though on a much smaller sample size of 12.9 minutes per game in nine games played).
Cousins had a bit of a breakout game on Monday night, starring as the lone bright spot in an otherwise miserable 120-103 blowout loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cousins dropped his first double-double as a Clipper, going for 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes of play. Cousins required a ton of attention in the post, drawing double-teams and going to work with his up-and-under moves against the smaller, less experienced Willy Hernangomez.
George is confident that Cousins can begin to produce like this on a more regular basis, given his skillset and history in the league.
All-Star level might be a bit of a lofty aspiration, but Cousins definitely has an opportunity and the capability to contribute to a winning team until Serge Ibaka returns from his lower back injury, at the very least.