DeMarcus Cousins released by Rockets; is he a fit for Boston?

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The Houston Rockets decided to do DeMarcus Cousins a solid and release the veteran big man so he can find a new home with a contender, per the Athletic’s Shams Charania. They even guaranteed his salary as a way to thank him for his professionalism while with the Rockets this season, a tumultuous one for Houston.

It was the right thing to do, and with DMC getting thanked with cold, hard cash for being a chill teammate, it’s easy to wonder if the attitude that made more than a few teams leery of his services in the past is gone, and in turn whether that means it’s worth giving Cousins a shot with the Celtics.

In a vacuum, it would certainly be worth the veteran's minimum or bi-annual exception Boston has remaining. And while they aren't meaningfully different to a player of Cousins' career earnings of nearly $90 million at $2.5 million for the former compared to $3.6 million for the latter, but it is a small advantage in the Celtics hold if they chose to pursue DMC. However, Cousins likely wants a substantial role with his next team, and it's not clear that he'll get that opportunity with Boston even if they do shake things up in the trade market. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1364041040508817409?s=20

As of now, the idea is out of the question with the team's surfeit of big men requiring nonoptimal and sometimes clunky lineups to get everyone the time required to keep the team's best players on the floor as much as possible. It's reasonable to assume one of Tristan Thompson, Daniel Theis or Robert Williams III gets moved before the Mar. 25 trade deadline, but why would the team want to move that problem forward given the headaches it's giving them now? Supposing the team were to move two of the three while going after a very big target, it could perhaps make sense -- but any time you find yourself in a sea of "ifs," it's probably better to move on to more plausible outcomes. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1364223761453490176?s=20

Add in that while Cousins is being productive at the NBA level after a brutal ACL injury kept him on the sidelines for all of last season, he has not yet returned to the level of play that made him one of the league's most feared big men in seasons past. Currently, he's putting up a respectable 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game on a concerning 37.6% overall shooting (and a pedestrian 33.6% from deep) that should be a solid backup option for a contender, but isn't the sort of production you move heaven and earth to get on your roster. He may well improve in a better situation surrounded by more talent, but odds are it won't be in Boston. https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=S13qsGTakr-1167916-8380&autoplay=on&V=2&format=json [lawrence-related id=46983,46937,46932,46910] [listicle id=46978]

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