On February 23, the Houston Rockets waived four-time All-Star Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins after an eight-game losing streak. Cousins has since waived his contract and is free to sign with any team in the league. Although Cousins has struggled since his ACL tear which kept him out throughout 2019/20, he is still among the best stretch bigs available today, and the fact that teams won’t need to give up anything to bring him in will increase his allure.
On the other end, the Philadelphia 76ers are flying high. With Joel Embiid having a real chance at the MVP, the Sixers have climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference, with a 22-11 record. For someone like Cousins, who wants to get a ring to help bolster his resume, this could be a perfect fit.
For one, the team’s spacing still needs a little work. Although the team added sharpshooters Seth Curry and Danny Green to improve the team’s spacing, it still isn’t great. At the moment, the team attempts 29.1 threes a game and makes 10.6 of those threes. Those numbers both are the third-worst marks in the league. If they add Cousins, who shoot at a career percentage of 33.2 percent and at 33.6 percent during his short time at Houston, they can stretch the floor even more.
Additionally, Cousins could be crucial for the bench rotation for the 76ers. Besides Shake Milton, who averages 13.5 points on 43.6% shooting, no other player has averaged more than Cousins on the bench rotation for the 76ers. Although Cousins wouldn’t be a natural fit, since Dwight Howard currently occupies the center spot behind Joel Embiid, he can run power forward for them next to Howard. If this move can work, the team can seriously begin to blow past their opponents, since their bench will be bolstered and Embiid and Simmons can rest more.
Finally, Cousins can also play in the starting 5. At the moment, Tobias Harris has played admirably and has been a genuine All-Star candidate. However, he has played at the small forward position for the majority of his career and lacks the physical ability of a power forward. If the 76ers sign Cousins, he can slot in at power forward, and allow Harris to play in his preferred role at small forward. This also allows the team to choose between Seth Curry and Danny Green, which means they will have an effective shooter from beyond the arc off the bench at all times. Curry would most likely be the best fit in the bench rotation since he lacks the height of Green and the defensive ability. On the other hand, Curry’s .4454 three-point percentage is the second-best of all time, which could be important in the clutch, or just as a catch and shoot player.
The Philadelphia 76ers should sign DeMarcus Cousins. His cheap contract size($2.3 million in Houston) will help keep the 76ers books stable, while also adding an incredibly talented player who can help the team’s championship push. If Philadelphia brings him in, they can have a player who is a three-level scorer and has the ability to play center and power forward, spots where they desperately need depth.