How DeMarcus Cousins Fits in the LA Clippers’ Rotation

LA Clippers, DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
LA Clippers, DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The LA Clippers have found their buyout guy; I don’t know about you, but DeMarcus Cousins is not whom I expected. Sure enough, though, he seems to be the one the Clippers are going with.

DeMarcus Cousins still has to clear NBA health and safety protocols, but assuming he does that, he’ll be LA Clipper bound. If you’re not a huge Boogie fan (and I’ll readily admit that I’m not), then there’s one silver lining here.

First. The LA Clippers are missing out on the buyout market. light

Per Adrian Wojnarowski’s tweet, it sounds like the LA Clippers are only signing DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract, so this is not a commitment to the rest of the season. What Boogie and the Clips need to figure out in those 10 days is exactly what we’re all wondering:

How does DeMarcus Cousins fit in the LA Clippers’ rotation, and does he play come playoff time?

The first part of the question is very easy to answer, and the last part is very difficult. In the ten days that span his contract, DeMarcus Cousins will probably be the second string center for the LA Clippers. Serge Ibaka is out with no known return date, and the Clips need another big man behind Ivica Zubac.

So that’s the immediate answer, but it doesn’t help much in the long run. Ibaka’s absence makes it tough, because we don’t get to see how DeMarcus Cousins fits when the LA Clippers have three bigs healthy.

It’s tough to see Boogie cracking the rotations very much on a healthy LA Clippers squad. His performance on the Houston Rockets doesn’t inspire much confidence:

  • 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 20.2 minutes per game
  • 37.6% shooting from the floor
  • 33.6% shooting from the three point line
  • 55% of his shots coming from deep
  • 2.2 point drop in Houston’s offensive rating when Boogie was on the floor

Now, if you want to play devil’s advocate, you can say that he was coming off of an ACL tear and playing for one of the worst teams in the league. Ok, fair enough. But I would counter with:

He’s coming off of an ACL tear. He’s a 6’10, 270 pound center who’s had an Achilles tear, a quad tear and an ACL tear. It’s possible that he could surprise us all and become an effective big again, but I’m not betting on it.

It seems much more likely that DeMarcus Cousins is a stopgap for the LA Clippers. Somebody who can eat up some game time and let Serge Ibaka take his time coming back, but who is only an emergency option once the games start mattering.

Next. Terance Mann is What the LA Clippers Needed at the Deadline. dark

Be sure to bookmark this page for when DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 20/15 for the LA Clippers so you can tell me how wrong I was.