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Clippers are considering signing DeMarcus Cousins for depth at center

DeMarcus Cousins dribbles upcourt
The Clippers are considering signing center DeMarcus Cousins, who was released by the Houston Rockets last month.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

The Clippers and center DeMarcus Cousins have discussed signing the 11-year veteran to a 10-day contract, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed Wednesday.

Cousins hasn’t played since Feb. 17, when his time with Houston ended after 25 games. He averaged 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds with the Rockets.

Cousins is under consideration because the Clippers have been short on depth at center since starter Serge Ibaka injured his back in mid-March. Ibaka has missed the last nine games. The need for another playable big man behind Ivica Zubac was evident in the team’s 103-96 loss to Orlando on Tuesday, when the Clippers allowed 15 offensive rebounds. The Clippers used the 33rd pick in last year’s draft to select Minnesota center Daniel Oturu, but he has rarely played and did not appear against the Magic.

Signing Cousins could also be an insurance policy to bolster the team’s depth should Ibaka remain sidelined deeper into the season. While injured guards Patrick Beverley (right knee) and Rajon Rondo (adductor) were able to work out on the court Tuesday, Ibaka has yet to return to on-court workouts, coach Tyronn Lue said.

Lou Williams says he had “some very emotional conversations” with his former Clippers teammates after learning he had been traded to the Atlanta Hawks.

Cousins wouldn’t necessarily be an instant infusion to the roster. Players must be taking part in the NBA’s testing protocols to even be considered for contracts and that process can last the better part of a week.

If there is a deal, Cousins would join a team featuring former Kentucky teammates Rondo and Patrick Patterson.

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Discussing the team’s open roster spots last week, Clippers president Lawrence Frank expected to be aggressive in filling them, but said it “also has to be the right person.”

“Because if that person isn’t in the rotation, can that person sit and be OK?” Frank said. “Because anyone can play and be a good teammate. But if you’re not playing, we want to make sure we have really good chemistry in the locker room, and that’s a sanctuary. We just want to make sure that whoever we add there fits with the whole team vibe.”

Staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.


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