Should the Miami Heat be looking into big man DeMarcus Cousins?
The Miami Heat have seemingly been in purgatory since 2014, getting as far as the second round of the playoffs. They’ve also been a one and done team and missed the playoffs altogether. The reasoning can be simplified into four words: lack of star power.
For all the praise he gets, president Pat Riley has had a hard time drawing stars to Miami since 2014.
He’s missed out on guys like LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Durant. But with the Warriors adding Durant and racking up their third championship in four years, the landscape is destined to change soon. Riley has a chance to reclaim his good name this summer.
And one man can help lead the charge back to prominence: DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins has the name. He’s a four time All-Star, three of the times playing with the lowly Sacramento Kings. He’s also a two-time All-NBA performer.
Cousins has the game.
He has career-averages of 21.5 points and 11.0 rebounds. Over the last five seasons, he has averages of 25 points and 12 rebounds. He fits the mold of the modern day big man perfectly, meaning he can dominate from the inside and on the boards or he can stretch the floor and knock down 3’s, as his 36 percent from distance can attest to. He’s not the most dominate defender, but when engaged, he’s more than good enough.
He has the attitude.
Seen as a hot-head for most of his career, those around him in New Orleans think he’s one of the best teammates and people they’ve been around. So much so, that Anthony Davis even went as far as to wear Cousins’ jersey during the All-Star game. He’s a fiery player that puts one in the mind of Draymond Green, where you’d hate to play against him but love to have him on your team.
The elephant in the room, however, is his achilles injury.
Cousins has the stature to expect a max contract on the market this summer, but history doesn’t always favor those coming back from this injury. Especially as a big man, it’s a particularly concerning injury going forward. If he can prove to the Heat (or any other teams) that the injury is a thing of the past, a max deal is almost guaranteed.
Is that too rich for the Heat’s blood? Currently, yes. But we’ve seen crazier things happen.
While I understand the slight pessimism around Cousins due to the nature of his injury, he’s the type of player that the Miami Heat could use if they have any aspirations for getting back to the top.
July 1 is coming.