The Rockets have made an early decision on DeMarcus Cousins‘ contract, guaranteeing his veteran’s minimum salary for the rest of the 2020-21 season, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
The league-wide salary guarantee date is Feb. 27, but teams must release players on non-guaranteed contracts by Feb. 24 to avoid taking on their full-season cap hits, so that they can clear waivers on or before Feb. 26.
Cousins, who is earning $2.56M on a one-year contract that counts as $1.6MM on Houston’s cap, is coming off a series of major leg injuries and hasn’t looked like his old All-Star self this season, averaging just 9.6 PPG and 7.6 RPG on 37.6% shooting in 25 games (20.2 MPG).
However, the 30-year-old has still occasionally flashed the ability to fill up the box score, including in a 28-point, 17-rebound, five-assist performance in Dallas on Jan. 23. He has recently served as the Rockets’ starting center, with Christian Wood sidelined due to an ankle sprain.
Cousins will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.