DeMarcus Cousins’ Injury Aftermath: Who Should Replace Him?
The Los Angeles Lakers signed many players this offseason who look to prove their worth. One notable player is DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins looked to bounce back after battling injuries during the 2019 playoffs. He was due to be an important piece of the Lakers’ title plans. But, the injury bug came back for another bite.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 15, 2019
On August 15th, NBA Insider Shams Charania tweeted that Cousins suffered a torn ACL injury during a practice session in Las Vegas, Nevada. The injury will most likely cause him to miss the entire 2019-2020 season. This injury is a severe blow to Cousins. He is a former All-Star and one of the most dominant centers of this decade. Cousins was seeking a huge contract and a ring. Also, his presence would have disrupted most of their opponent’s lineups. Now, his career is in jeopardy.
Despite this upsetting news, the Lakers must move on. Although they have plenty of multi-talented players, they are thin in the frontcourt, especially at the center position. There are a handful of free agents for the Lakers to choose from. Who should they look at to replace Cousins?
Who Should Replace DeMarcus Cousins?
The Lakers’ top choice should be Kenneth Faried. He is the best player available that fits their needs. Last season with the Houston Rockets, Faried averaged 12.8 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game in 25 games. When healthy, Faried played close to his Denver Nuggets’ form. The Lakers need a center who can rebound and defend. Faried can do both and has a high motor. Also, he is still just 29 years old.
Carmelo Anthony is looking to rebound from a disastrous and short tenure with the Rockets. He has stated that he wants to win and take on any role with a team. The Lakers will be a good fit for him. He instantly gives them a scoring option with the second team. When motivated, Anthony is one of the most dangerous players in the NBA. Despite his age, he seems to be in good health. If the Lakers sign him, they will still be thin in the frontcourt, but they’ll have players who can play multiple positions.
Signing Dwight Howard is a bit of a stretch, but the Lakers should at least consider it. Howard is still a productive player in the NBA. He will fit the Lakers’ need for rebounding. However, this is an unpopular choice. Many NBA fans still remember Howard’s one season with the Lakers, which ended in disaster. Also, Howard’s style of play isn’t suited for today’s NBA, which requires centers to step out of the paint on offense and defense. Howard still could be a nice pick-and-roll option if the Lakers choose to sign him.
Don’t Sign Anyone?
The options for the lakers are very thin. Age and attrition are problems among the remaining free agents. The Lakers could move on with their remaining roster. They have players who can change positions if necessary. Reports surfaced that LeBron James will play point guard this season. With Cousins’ injury, he could return to small forward. Kyle Kuzma could go back to power forward and Anthony Davis could play center, which will make up the need for size. JaVale McGee will be perfect off of the bench. The Lakers’ original lineup plans can still work as well. The Lakers are still title contenders without Cousins. They will be fine without him.