The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 20, 2021
This news is baffling considering Houston’s recent front office moves. Just yesterday, the Rockets guaranteed Cousins’ one-year, $2.3 million deal through the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
With the option to waive their backup center’s contract up until the deadline on Feb. 27., the decision to go back on that guarantee makes no sense. Houston will be unnecessarily eating Cousins’ dead-money contract through the rest of this year.
While this move is financially confusing in this context, it makes sense on its own.
With the breakout season that Wood is having this year, the decision to focus on building around the 25-year-old center long term seems like the perfect investment. After bouncing around the league through his first four NBA seasons, Wood seems to have found a home in Houston — averaging an unbelievable 22 points and 10.2 rebounds per game during his first year with the team.
Unfortunately for the Houston Rockets, Wood has missed the team’s last seven outings with an ankle injury. With the injury more serious than originally thought, the talented young big man is expected to miss another two weeks.
Starting in Woods’ absence, DeMarcus Cousins averaged 12.1 points and nine rebounds through an 0-7 run.
Where will Boogie end up next?
Update: This explains the back-to-back Rockets decisions on Cousins.
NBA sources confirm #Rockets parting ways w/ DeMarcus Cousins via trade or releasing him. Rockets guaranteed his salary b/c management appreciates his professionalism & how he went about his business. Rockets want to do right by free agents they sign. @ShamsCharania reported 1st
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 20, 2021
That’s honestly a classy move by Houston, especially with how tough the last few years have been for Boogie.
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