Frank Vogel Says DeMarcus Cousins Has 'Become Part Of Our Family'

Melissa Rohlin

DeMarcus Cousins, who was waived by the Lakers on Sunday, will remain with the team in a limited capacity as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. 

"He’s still allowed to stay with our team and rehab and get healthy," Lakers' coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday. "He’s become part of our family, so he’s going to be around. We’re excited about that."

The Lakers waived Cousins to create roster space for Markieff Morris, whom they signed Sunday after he cleared waivers. Cousins had missed every game this season because of the injury which he sustained while playing a pickup game with NBA players in Las Vegas in August. 

At a recent practice, Cousins was doing various drills, including sliding up and down the court and jogging with high knees. 

But there are certain limitations on his involvement with the team. 

"Can’t travel, can’t be on the bench is kind of the general guidelines we’re operating by," Vogel said. "But for the most part, he’s going to be here in El Segundo and rehabbing."

The Lakers had high hopes for Cousins when they signed him in July to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. 

Cousins is a four-time All-Star who has career averages of 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds over nine seasons.

The injury was crushing for Cousins, but Vogel said he still found a way to contribute to the team. 

"On-the-bench trash talker," Vogel said. "Yeah, he’s been that for us. He’s good with that. And he’s had a great pulse on what our group was going through. I remember there was a game where he challenged LeBron [James] at halftime to be more aggressive or something like that. He’s contributed to our culture, and we’re excited that he’s still going to be around in a different capacity while he’s going to be here rehabbing."