9. DeMarcus Cousins
Through the hunt for a backup big man, the LA Clippers signed the talents of the four-time All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins. At the time of the acquisition, it appeared the front office found a gem in the market. Though he could not move as well as he did in his prime, Cousins still could dominate the paint.
Additionally, Cousins possessed the veteran experience needed to guide the Clippers through adversity in the postseason. This was one of the biggest reasons LA could reach the Western Conference Finals, despite losing Leonard in the second round due to injury.
However, his weakness damaged the Clippers’ rotations defensively, forcing him out of the active lineup. He would find himself on the court occasionally, but his skill set was not fit for what head coach Tyronn Lue was aiming to build. Not to mention Cousins was 30 years of age while also facing notable injuries to his lower body.
Furthermore, during the 2020-21 NBA season, Cousins averaged 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 53.7% from the field and 42.1% from three. Although these numbers occurred in 16 games, the eye test proves why Cousins was nearly unplayable for the LA Clippers.
By moving on from the former superstar, the front office found themselves in a position, once again, to acquire the perfect big man behind Ivica Zubac. Though this may not be ideal for the Clippers, Cousins was a significant liability each time he stepped on the floor. This explains why he was signed to a minimum contract.