Los Angeles center DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, putting his 2019-2020 NBA season in jeopardy. Cousins was signed by the Lakers this off-season after losing in the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors.
Cousins has now suffered three major leg issues in the past year and a half. The injuries started in January 2018, when Cousins suffered a left Achilles tendon tear that sidelined him for the rest of the season. The New Orleans Pelicans thrived in his absence, sweeping the Portland Blazers in the first-round before losing to the eventual champions, the Warriors.
Cousins next injury came shortly after his return from the Achilles tear. This time, Cousins was a member of the Warriors. Cousins spent most of the season rehabbing his left Achilles. When Cousins returned in April 2019, he tore his left quadricep. The injury should’ve kept Cousins on the bench for the rest of the playoffs, but he returned in the NBA Finals to give the Warriors solid production off the bench.
Once the Lakers struck out on marquee free agent Kawhi Leonard, the organization began signing other players to fill out their roster. Veterans such as Danny Green and Cousins were among those signings.
When the Lakers signed Cousins, they signed him with the hopes he would return to his dominant ways when he was the star player for the Sacramento Kings. With the NBA season still months away, it looks as if Cousins could miss the entire 2019 season with the ACL tear.
The injury directly affects the chances of Cousins signing a long-term contract with max money attached to it. No team is going to risk spending a significant amount of money on an injury riddled center who still hasn’t fully recovered from past injuries. For the Lakers, the depth and bench unit keep minimizing. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are going to have their hands full carrying this team to the promise land.