With Free Agency Looming, Former Kings Star Cousins Suffers Serious Injury - NBC Bay Area

With Free Agency Looming, Former Kings Star Cousins Suffers Serious Injury



    With Free Agency Looming, Former Kings Star Cousins Suffers Serious Injury
    James Ham
    With free agency looming, former Kings star Cousins suffers serious injury

    A little over a year ago, we were reporting on the new $207 million extension Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins intended to sign with the Sacramento Kings.

    That never came to be as the Kings traded Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans during the All-Star break as part of a five-player deal that brought Sacramento Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, along with draft picks. And only 12 months later, the news couldn't be worse for the former King.

    The 27-year-old, four-time All-Star center ruptured his Achilles in the final seconds of a battle with the Houston Rockets, according to multiple national reports. An MRI has been scheduled to confirm the diagnosis, but all indications are pointing towards the worst possible outcome for one of the game's best bigs.

    In his first full season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Cousins is posting huge numbers and has his team smack dab in the Western Conference playoff race. The 6-foot-11 Kentucky product is averaging 25.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals.  

    The Pelicans currently sit at 27-21 and hold the sixth best record in the West. In his eighth NBA season, Cousins was in line to make his first playoff appearance after spending the first six-plus seasons of his career in Sacramento.

    He, along with fellow All-Star power forward Anthony Davis, have carried the Pelicans all season long. The loss of Cousins is a huge blow for New Orleans.

    To compound matters, Cousins is playing out the final year of his contract and was primed to make serious cash in free agency this summer. If his Achilles is in fact torn, he is facing a minimum of a six-month rehabilitation.

    Judging by other players with a similar injury, Cousins a solid chance at being ready for training camp for the 2018-19 season. Rudy Gay tore his left Achilles in January of last season while a member of the Kings and returned in time to open the season with the San Antonio Spurs.  

    Every player recovers at a different rate, but Cousins has a lot riding on his ability to return to the court sooner, rather than later. It's an unfortunate turn of events for an incredibly talented young man.