DeMarcus Cousins Aiming To Make A Difference With Bucks

After an offseason and early season of waiting, veteran center DeMarcus Cousins has a new place to play with the defending champion Bucks.DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins, 31, is a four-time All-Star, but those days are behind him. Or so everyone thinks.

He also worked out for the Nuggets, but never heard back. Then again, Denver didn’t have an open roster spot, as The Athletic’s Eric Nehm noted, and the Bucks did.

Milwaukee is also in need of an experienced big man, given that starting center Brook Lopez has been out with a back issue. So the Bucks called Cousins on Friday and signed him to a one-year nonguaranteed deal.

He will now share a frontcourt with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis as the team awaits Lopez’s return.

“DeMarcus is incredibly talented and his size, toughness and experience will help us,” said Bucks general manager Jon Horst said in a statement. “He will provide added depth to our front court rotation and we look forward to working him into our system.”

Cousins averaged 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 16 games with the Clippers last season after spending the first part of the year with the Rockets. He also played meaningful minutes in the playoffs as LA made a run to the Western Conference Finals.

Since making his last All-Star team, though, he suffered a ruptured Achilles and torn ACL and hasn’t been the same player who carries career averages of 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds.

The Bucks, of course, don’t need him to be that player. They just need him to be the veteran big man who helps in the department of winning big — something he has proven to be entirely capable of doing.

As for his contract, the Bucks will have to make a decision on guaranteeing Cousins’ salary by the league-wide deadline of Jan. 7.

“The $2,004,041 salary becomes guaranteed if Cousins is not waived by 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 7,” noted ESPN’s Bobby Marks. “If Cousins is on the roster past Jan. 7, Milwaukee will get reimbursed (by the NBA) $737,768 of his $2M salary.”

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