Los Angeles Lakers: The Ultimate Guide to the 2018 Offseason

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DeMarcus Cousins
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The Case For DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins is still a consensus top-five big man in the NBA along with Joel Embiid, his teammate Anthony Davis, and Karl-Anthony Towns. “Boogie” seemed to be a runner in the MVP conversation until his Achilles gave up on him. That should be where the conversation starts.

For one, signing any player, at any level after a torn Achilles is a huge risk, especially given that Magic and co. sign him to a near-maximum contract. Tim Cato of SB Nation spoke with Dr. Kevin Stone, a famous orthopedic surgeon on Achilles injuries in 2015. This is how he described it:

"“The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. It’s designed to stretch, it’s designed to absorb force when the athlete lands from a jump… . It’s uncommon in sports injuries for it to be women or it to be younger athletes. So the unusual Achilles rupture in the basketball player or a female is usually bad luck — landing from a bad position, landing awkwardly hard on the leg.”"

Achilles injuries, as noted, are the ultimate affliction of basketball. It’s heavily unlucky, and men not named DeMarcus Cousins failed to beat the odds. Elton Brand, a top power forward, averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds just before he tore his Achilles. He then proceeded to average just 15 points and 8 rebounds a game in 2011 and never was the same. The Laker legend Kobe Bryant fell to the same cataclysm. I remember watching him fight through the pain in 2013 against the Warriors. He should have rested, but his Mamba Mentality made him immune to the pain until realized. The Lakers should not rule out Boogie, but his situation is one to check upon.