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Lakers reportedly ‘have interest’ in DeMarcus Cousins, but prefer Andre Drummond

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Cousins might be the Lakers’ backup plan if they can’t land Drummond.

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

DeMarcus Cousins has been a free agent for almost two weeks now and no one has signed him yet. In fact, outside of the one report that the Los Angeles Lakers were interested in him last month, there’s been little — and I mean very little — noise around where he’ll play for the remainder of the season. For context, the Brooklyn Nets were considered the favorites to sign Blake Griffin before he was even waived.

That may be because teams are waiting to see if someone better than Cousins eventually becomes available on the buyout market, which isn’t a bad idea. For the Lakers, that someone is Andre Drummond, according to a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer on Monday:

League sources say they have interest in free agent DeMarcus Cousins, but Drummond is their preference if he gets bought out. Drummond has been benched while the Cavaliers seek a trade, but there’s doubt around the league that they’ll be able to find one due to his massive $28.8 million salary.

This report came on the same that Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the that there is “optimism” within the Lakers organization that Drummond will give them “strong consideration” if he’s bought out. I explained why I’m less optimistic in my story from earlier today, but both reports indicate that the Lakers think Drummond is a real possibility.

However, if the Lakers’ optimism is misplaced, then it appears they would consider re-signing Cousins, which is a shift in what we last heard about Cousins’ chances of playing in Los Angeles. One thing’s remained clear throughout all of this, though: the Lakers view the center position as an area of need, so we can almost certainly expect to see another center on this roster by the end of the season, whether it’s Cousins, Drummond, Damian Jones or someone else.

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