1. DeMarcus Cousins
Cousins was one of the league’s best scorers and rebounds during his prime. The 6’10 big man could do it all on the floor and it led to four All-Star selections and two All-NBA honors. Boogie was a problem for everybody, including sometimes his team as his attitude and penchant for technical fouls could get the best of him.
The Lakers signed Cousins during the 2019 offseason. It was a chance to team back up with Anthony Davis after sharing the floor with the Pelicans, but the 29-year-old tore his ACL in a summer workout and missed the entire season. It was a one-year deal, so the Lakers waived Boogie after the trade deadline.
He signed with the Rockets in the 2020 offseason and played for four different teams over the next two seasons before washing out of the league in 2022. Cousins was already starting to slow down, but the torn ACL in 2019 stole some athleticism and made the decline sharper.
Who knows what would have been if DeMarcus Cousins stayed healthy? The Los Angeles Lakers won the championship inside the bubble in 2020, and Boogie would have been part of that squad. There is no telling how his play might have changed things if he stayed healthy, but it is strange what-if.
The Los Angeles Lakers always want to be in title contention. They must avoid front office mistakes, but that is easier said than done. Hopefully, they can steer clear of adding regrettable names to this list anytime soon.