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Report: DeMarcus Cousins might still play this season, after all

The agent for DeMarcus Cousins has denied that his client has ruled out playing during the 2019-20 season.

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NBA: FEB 21 Grizzlies at Lakers Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Early on Tuesday morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported in no uncertain terms that former Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins was telling teams he had decided to sit out the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season, despite multiple organizations reportedly being interested in his services.

The only problem? His agent told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that the information wasn’t true, as he said that Cousins hadn’t made any decisions yet:

Cousins could have an opportunity to officially be part of an NBA team again this week. He has not ruled out signing with a team to finish out the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz. But it would have to be a situation in which he feels comfortable to play rather than continue his rehab.

There are a multitude of reasons for Cousins to decide to sit out, most of which I covered in our initial writeup of this news. But an agent taking the semi-rare step of speaking on the record makes it at the very least clear that Cousins’ camp doesn’t want us to think this is true, which has to mean something, even if it’s not entirely clear what.

And despite this now being Cousins’ third serious injury in the same leg and the NBA restart beginning less than a year after Cousins suffered his ACL tear, there is some level of reason to think there is at least a chance he tries to push his way back, whether one thinks it’s a good idea or not. For one thing, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel continually said this season that he was being told Cousins was “on track” to get healthy by the playoffs, although it seems unlikely the Lakers thought so, given that they ultimately cut him to make room for Markieff Morris.

In some of his only public comments on the matter, Cousins sounded excited about the possibility of playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, saying it would force defenses to “pick your poison” in the postseason if he were to return. But at that same time, Vogel and James preached patience for Cousins, and didn’t exactly sound certain he’d be back this season. The NBA’s layoff gave him some extra time, but also took him away from the Lakers’ facility he was rehabbing in, so it’s unknown how that’s affected his recovery timeline.

And given that we’ve had two conflicting reports on this in just a few hours, this is obviously a developing story. Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for updates.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.