A year after his last appearance in an NBA game, center DeMarcus Cousins has signed a deal with the Guaynabo Mets of the Puerto Rican professional basketball league.
It felt like a quick exit from the league for a guy who was dominant not too long ago.
DeMarcus Cousins Now Playing For Guaynabo Mets
Four-time NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins is signing with the Guaynabo Mets of the Puerto Rican Professional Basketball League, sources tell ESPN. Cousins, 32, will play this spring there to continue to try and find a pathway back to the NBA.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2023
Cousins was arguably the best big man in the league for a stretch of three or four years, averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds in his last productive year. He spent most of his career with the lowly Sacramento Kings, but it appeared he finally caught his break when he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and his numbers improved even further.
But Cousins, and his career, were the victims of a brutal injury. Just as he was putting things together with Anthony Davis in New Orleans, a torn Achilles tendon eventually cost him his explosiveness. He bounced around the league in his final seasons, with stops in Golden State, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and eventually Denver, where he played in his final NBA season in 2021-22.
Cousins is just 32 years old, and he is hoping that a stop in Puerto Rico will be a stepping stone in getting back into the league.
Cousins Joins Plenty Of Former NBA Players
DeMarcus Cousins 48 games during the 2018 season with the New Orleans Pelicans before his first major injury:
He averaged: 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per contest.
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) April 11, 2023
He isn’t the first former NBA player to join the league, and there are a few recognizable names currently playing in Puerto Rico. Guys like Hassan Whiteside, Greg Monroe, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are scattered about the league, but Cousins becomes undeniably the biggest name.
DeMarcus Cousins isn’t all that far removed from being a serviceable rotation NBA player. During that final season with the Nuggets, he averaged 11 minutes per game in the team’s first round series against the Warriors, scoring a combined 29 points in the final two games.
But perhaps team doctors around the league just aren’t sold on Cousins’ long-term health, or maybe his reputation as a hot head has shied teams away from potentially wanting to take the risk.
While it is difficult to track down the exact current roster for the Guaynabo Mets, RealGM has a list that already contains Cousins’ name. His teammates will include Renaldo Balkman and Ed Davis.
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