The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly set to sign free-agent center DeMarcus Cousins on a non-guaranteed one-year deal.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 28, 2021
The 10-year NBA veteran played parts of last season for the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers but had been unattached since this season started.
Although it is yet to be officially announced by Milwaukee, the signing is a necessity due to Brook Lopez’s injury.
With all that out of the way, what are the pros and cons of ‘Boogie’ joining the defending champions?
As earlier stated, Brook Lopez has been out injured for the majority of this season and the Bucks could use some depth in the center position. Although Giannis and Bobby Portis have done a great job at the five so far, DeMarcus Cousins is a much-needed addition to the roster.
Bucks' front court hurting a bit with Brook Lopez out with back issues. Makes you think how serious his injury could be. https://t.co/5glZJBveUn
— Pablo Iglesias (@PabloIglesiasTV) November 28, 2021
DeMarcus Cousins would further boost the Bucks’ reputation as the fifth All-Star on the roster this season. And although Boogie’s All-Star days are well behind him, he’s still capable of competently playing a role for the Bucks.
In his short stint with the Clippers, Cousins averaged 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 16 games. He never started any games and only averaged 12 minutes per game but still managed to be impactful in LA.
Cousins would bring the toughness and grit Brook Lopez never had and will certainly contribute more rebounds. Boogie averages over 10 rebounds per game in a 10-year NBA career compared to Lopez who averages six.
His intensity would also complement the roster quite well, the Bucks are known for passion, which Boogie has in abundance.
The Bucks will typically require DeMarcus Cousins to do three primary things: taking up space defensively, moving the ball, and knocking down three when switched.
There’s a reason 33-year old Brook Lopez has held down the center position for the Bucks so long, he knows how to execute his role. Lopez switches effortlessly on defense and offense without clogging the paint. This allows Giannis to be Giannis and the Bucks to be fluid on both ends of the court.
Over half of the shots attempted by Lopez since joining the Bucks have been three-pointers, with a 34.4% accuracy. Although Cousins has a similarly decent three-point percentage, there are doubts on how quickly he can adjust to the requirements.
Having ruptured his Achilles and torn his ACL, DeMarcus Cousins has lost the explosiveness that once distinguished him. Those injuries -however tragic- could make Cousins a liability especially in post-ups.
And of course, let’s address the elephant in the room, the biggest con of all, DeMarcus Cousins’ personality. Boogie is known as something of a troublemaker both on and off the court, a trait that has been recurrent all through his career.
The Bucks are a franchise that thrives on the positive atmosphere, championed by Giannis Antetokounmpo. There is a chance Boogie and Giannis could both hit it off based on their shared desire and commitment. But there’s a bigger chance they don’t, which could be a huge blow to the chemistry and camaraderie in the roster.
How much could DeMarcus Cousins play for Milwaukee?
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) November 28, 2021
In conclusion, DeMarcus Cousins is a solid addition to the squad as a stopgap replacement for Brook Lopez. But if he hopes to outlast Lopez and make a bigger impact in Milwaukee, he must make some adjustments.
From Milwaukee’s perspective, it’s a win-win because they get cover for Lopez on a short-term deal. Cousins get an extension if he adapts and proves valuable. And if he doesn’t, they simply turn back to Lopez and pretend it never happened.