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Former Laker DeMarcus Cousins weighs whether to sign with a team for the playoffs

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins smiles after scoring against the Denver Nuggets in 2019.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

In every unofficial way, DeMarcus Cousins has been part of the Lakers for the past several months, even after the team waived him in February.

He’s still part of their group texts, and before the league shutdown due to COVID-19 he used the team facility to continue his rehab from an August torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Cousins could have an opportunity to officially be part of an NBA team again this week. He has not ruled out signing with a team to finish out the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla., according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz. But it would have to be a situation in which he feels comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab.

The NBA keeps inching toward a return but the league and medical experts know obstacles still exist. As players return to teams, COVID-19 testing ramps up.

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Cousins tore his ACL in August 2019 during a casual game with other NBA players in Las Vegas. The injury appeared minor at first, but the significance was confirmed the next day. It was his second serious injury in the past two years. Cousins also tore an Achilles tendon in January 2018 and missed the rest of that season with the New Orleans Pelicans, as well as a large part of the next season, in which the Warriors signed him to a one-year deal.

The Lakers signed Cousins to a one-year deal not long before he suffered his latest injury. He still attended practices and games at home and on the road. He worked with the Lakers’ young centers in training camp to help their development. In February the team waived him in order to sign someone who could play immediately. By waiving him by March 1, they assured that he would be eligible to join a team’s playoff roster.

Now Cousins is weighing whether to do that or to give his knee another six months to heal.


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