The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to bring veteran big man DeMarcus Cousins in for a workout on Friday, according to Chris Haynes. As of Jan. 5, teams are now allowed to sign players to 10-day contracts, and the Lakers are eligible for a hardship exception due to a string of injuries.
Whether the Lakers will apply for, or use, said exception remains to be seen. They also recently signed Sterling Brown to a 10-day contract and when that expires on Jan. 16 they will have an open roster spot again. Of course, all that depends on if the Lakers actually want to sign Cousins, but a reunion seems likely considering his history with the franchise, the fact that they're bringing him in for a publicized workout and their lack of frontcourt depth.
Back in 2019, Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Lakers to reunite with one-time teammate Anthony Davis and chase a championship. He never played for the team, however, because he tore his ACL during a pick-up game ahead of training camp. He was waived in the middle of that season, and was not with the Lakers in the bubble when they won the 2020 Finals.
Once one of the league's premier big men -- four consecutive All-Star appearances from 2015-18 -- Cousins' career was derailed by a string of injuries in the late 2010s. Prior to the torn ACL, he also ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans and tore his quad during his stint with the Golden State Warriors.
Since the Achilles injury in 2018, Cousins has spent time with six different franchises including the Lakers, but has played in only 119 games. He most recently played for the Denver Nuggets under former head coach Michael Malone, who coached him early in his career with the Sacramento Kings. Most of that time was spent backing up Nikola Jokic, and as such he played sparingly, especially in the postseason.
Injuries and age have robbed Cousins of much of the dynamism that once made him so special, but there's no doubt that he is still a talented offensive player; he had 31 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of action in one game for the Nuggets last season.
With Anthony Davis still sidelined, the only true bigs on the Lakers roster are Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones, and head coach Darvin Ham clearly does not trust the latter. Given how thin they are up front, adding Cousins for a short time certainly couldn't hurt.