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Lakers not expected to re-sign DeMarcus Cousins if he becomes available

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DeMarcus Cousins might not be coming back to Los Angeles after all.

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Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

From the moment that it was reported that the Los Angeles Lakers plan on waiving Quinn Cook, it’s been widely assumed that DeMarcus Cousins will fill one of their open roster spots, which isn’t that bold of an assumption. Cousins played for the Lakers last season and was linked to his former team just last week.

However, according to a report from Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times on Monday, Cousins might not be part of the Lakers’ plans after all:

There are no immediate plans to fill Cook’s roster spot, and multiple people with knowledge of the situation said they don’t expect the Lakers to reunite with Houston center DeMarcus Cousins if he becomes available as expected. The team will, however, monitor the buyout and trade markets for potential additions to their frontcourt.

In some ways, the Lakers’ lack of interest in Cousins is surprising. He’s good friends with Anthony Davis and theoretically has a higher ceiling than any other big man on the market right now. But from a basketball standpoint, a reunion between Cousins and the Lakers — if you can even call it that — never made much sense.

What the Lakers have lacked this season is the athleticism and rim protection that JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard provided them last season. Cousins is a lot of things, but a high-flying, shot-blocking center isn’t one of them.

That’s not to say Cousins wouldn’t have helped the Lakers at all — in fact, his rebounding and ability to create his own offense in the post would have added an interesting dynamic to this team. The unfortunate news for Cousins is that it doesn’t sound like the Lakers are trying to mix things up at this stage of the season; they’re trying to complete their championship puzzle, which they solved just a few months ago.

The door isn’t completely shut on Cousins coming back to Los Angeles, but it appears to be closing quickly.

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