The Los Angeles Lakers might not need a third superstar. The team may already have one. Though DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL in August, the Lakers aren’t ruling out his return this season, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the team isn’t “closing the door” on Cousins coming back this year. Given that the injury occurred in August, Cousins would likely need months to recover. In a scenario where Cousins returns for the playoffs — which begin in April — Cousins would be about eight months removed from the injury. That, of course, is assuming the Lakers are in the playoffs.
The 29-year-old Cousins signed with the Lakers in July, but suffered a torn ACL while working out in August. It was Cousins’ third major injury in the past few seasons. Cousins played in just 30 games last year due to an Achilles injury.
Once he returned, Cousins was used in a limited role. He averaged just 25 minutes per game with the Warriors, putting up 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds, then injured his quadriceps in the playoffs.
Considering he’s coming off another significant injury, it’s unclear how much Cousins will be able to give the Lakers if he’s able to return. Cousins has put up superstar numbers in the past, but hasn’t been at 100 percent in a few years.
If the Lakers are willing to take that risk, Cousins could help them when it matters most. But if the team is worried about how much Cousins will be able to contribute, it might be in everyone’s best interest to give him as much time as possible to get right.
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