DeMarcus Cousins‘ diminished mobility, brought on by back-to-back Achilles and ACL injuries, was behind the Rockets‘ decision to cut ties with him in the next few days, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Cousins had been filling the role Houston envisioned when it signed him, Iko adds, serving as a backup to starting center Christian Wood and spacing the offense while playing in short bursts. However, an ankle injury that has kept Wood off the court since Feb. 4 pushed Cousins into a starting role that he wasn’t ready to handle.
Coach Stephen Silas is working to build a defensive identity in his first season in Houston, and Cousins’ inability to cover ground was getting in the way. With Cousins defending them, opponents were shooting an incredible 63.4% on shots from six feet and closer.
Silas liked Cousins and the veteran presence he brought to the locker room, Iko writes. Several young players sought advice from him, especially rookie Jae’Sean Tate. But Cousins’ inability to handle more minutes convinced Houston that it needs to go in a different direction at center.
There’s more on the Cousins situation: