Enter DeMarcus Cousins.
The four-time NBA All-Star isn’t the same player anymore.
However, the defending champions hope that there’s still a lot of basketball left in the former Kentucky stalwart.
Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins plans to sign a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 28, 2021
Head coach Mike Budenholzer hopes that this move will help the Bucks stay within striking distance of the other Eastern Conference contenders.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward move to bring in one of the better centers in recent years.
The franchise hopes that he can turn back time and play like the two-time All-NBA Second Team member he once was.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the same player since his injuries started to pile up.
Boogie Trying To Find His Groove Again
It wasn’t too long ago when Cousins was one of the top big men in the league.
He kept on improving during his stint with the Sacramento Kings.
He played 81 games in his rookie year and averaged 14.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
However, that number of games was the most he would play throughout his career.
How do you make a tissue dance?! You put a little "Boogie" in it!! My Dad jokes are back!!
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) November 29, 2021
Cousins went on to play 64, 75, and 71 games after his first year and his average improved from 18.1 to 22.7 points per game.
The height of his NBA journey came in his final year with the Kings during the 2016-17 season.
While he only played 55 regular-season games, the Alabama native had 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per contest.
Those numbers were enough to make him an All-Star and an All-NBA Second Team selection for the second straight year.
DeMarcus Cousins ring chasing history
2019: signed with Warriors
2020: signed with Lakers
2021: signed with Clippers
2022: signed with Bucks
This man is not giving up 💀 https://t.co/fSGIcxXHSW
— BGN (@BullsGotNext) November 29, 2021
But while he was still at the peak of his game, Cousins moved to the New Orleans Pelicans via trade.
Unfortunately, that’s when his body started to disintegrate due to injuries.
He suffered an Achilles injury that ended his 2016-17 season in 17 games.
A year later, he averaged career highs in rebounds (12.9), assists (5.4), and steals (1.6).
Let’s hope we see DeMarcus Cousins in action 🦌 pic.twitter.com/f4WHQfm2W2
— Bucks Nation (@BucksNationCP) November 30, 2021
Yet as he gained momentum, he suffered another injury that abruptly ended his season after 48 games.
Cousins played for the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and the Los Angeles Clippers over the next three seasons.
He suited up for 71 total games with those teams, and his scoring average dropped from 16.3 to 9.6 and 7.8 points per game.
Over his last three seasons, Cousins suffered Achilles, foot, heel, knee, and ankle injuries.
With each injury comes the weakening of his on-court prowess.
The Bucks Define His Role
Luckily for Cousins, the Bucks won’t force him to become the All-Star he once was.
They want him to come off the bench and continue to establish their rim protection after the starters get their rest.
His role might dwindle once Lopez returns because Bobby Portis will retake the backup position.
As it stands, Cousins might play no more than 20 minutes per game, and any contribution from him will be valuable.
Bobby Portis and Demarcus Cousins off the bench pic.twitter.com/aYHJLAPQ6Z
— The job is finished (@Just1nBurner) November 28, 2021
If he becomes a minimum double-double player, Milwaukee will have the luxury of having another scoring option.
At present, he has a one-year contract with the Bucks.
But he might stay longer if he becomes a significant piece of their push to win a second straight championship.
That way, he gets to write the tail end of his NBA career on his own terms.