Lately, Demarcus Cousins can’t catch a break. The former NBA All-Star, who has just rehabilitated from two difficult injuries (torn quad, torn Achilles) has just torn his ACL in a workout in Las Vegas. Shams Charania broke the news on Twitter earlier this morning, later tweeting that Boogie will undergo tests to confirm the diagnosis.
This is a tough blow for Demarcus. He has battled back from injuries in back-to-back seasons and now will have to deal with a torn ACL. The silver lining here is that it’s August. The typical timetable for an ACL injury could be around 3-6 months, which is right by the All-Star break, or the end of February. Boogie should be back by the playoffs, but the real question is what kind of player will he be at this point? He’s slimmed down and hopefully can stay slim while he recovers. The jumper will still be there, which is great, and he didn’t look super explosive last season, so I assume we are looking at a pick-and-pop big man at this point, who can rebound and get tired quickly.
The Lakers now have some clarity at the center position. This frees up JaVale McGee, who had a fantastic season last year, to step into the starting center role. At the moment, it looks like Anthony Davis will play PF, but Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has not given us any clues to his starting line-up. This might open up a roster position for Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, or another player. The Lakers don’t have many big men on the roster, so losing Boogie is a tough blow. Noah has height and was pretty good in a limited role for the Grizzlies last season. Carmelo doesn’t have the size that Noah does, but at 6’8″, he is big enough to play small-ball four alongside LBJ. There is also Kenneth Faried, who is a player all about energy and doesn’t need the ball to make a difference (this might be the best fit). Another player the Lakers might look at now is Dwight Howard. Howard famously ditched the Lakers for the Rockets in 2013, but reports say he has interest in playing with LeBron James (yeah, no shit). I never thought I would see Dwight back in a Lakers jersey, but I can’t say it’s impossible.
Time will tell on what the Lakers do, but this injury is extremely unfortunate to hear. I’ve played basketball for over 20+ years and while I’m clearly not good enough to play professionally, I know how tough and devastating an injury is. Best of luck to Boogie and a speedy recovery.