As far as most casual NBA fans know, the Washington Wizards are not exactly title contenders, and won’t be anytime soon. But the latter may not be true. When Wall and Beal are healthy, the Wizards are a playoff team, but not a championship team. Their biggest problem has been a center who can pull down rebounds and dominate the paint. And let’s be honest, Marcin Gortat was just not enough. But I think I know a player who can push the Wizards over the top and win them a championship. Introducing 6’11” center Demarcus Cousins.
Wait, don’t turn away yet! Please hear me out. I know this sounds controversial and unlikely, but listen to my reasoning. I have three reasons why Demarcus Cousins should join the Wizards, and then we’ll get into the downside of him joining (if there is one).
#3: He Wants a Championship. Bad.
Demarcus Cousins spent his first few years in the NBA playing for a GM who wanted him to cherry pick on offense because he thought it would “revolutionize” the game. But he wanted to win, so he left the cursed Sacramento Kings, and joined fellow big man Anthony Davis in New Orleans. They won a game against the Warriors in the 2018 playoffs, but Cousins injured his achilles and eventually signed with the Warriors in free agency for 5.2 million dollars. His salary with the Pelicans was 17 million dollars (roughly), so he took a $12 million pay cut for the chance to win a championship. And when that didn’t work out, he went to the stacked Los Angeles Lakers, for $3.5 million. He then injured himself there and the season has been on hiatus since. And the Wizards already have an incredibly young core with unlimited potential and an All-Star back court. With a veteran like Boogie dominating the paint, he could be the piece the franchise needs to win a championship.
#2: Can help mold the young forwards, is an NBA veteran.
Demarcus Cousins has been in the league for 9 years, and while not always on the best teams, he has gained an incredible amount of experience and played against some of the best players in the world! If Demarcus could be a Jimmy Butler type person in terms of attitude turn around, he could mentor Thomas Bryant and Moe Wagner, and other forwards and centers, giving them incredible knowledge and helping their games a tremendous amount. So when Boogie eventually retires, the Wizards will be set for the future, and can contend for many years to come.
#1: He and John Wall are friends and played together at Kentucky.
John Wall, one of the best point guards in the league when not injured, has already played with Demarcus Cousins, and they were a deadly duo in Kentucky. Now circumstances have definitely changed, but they are still friends and know what it’s like to compliment one another’s game. John Wall has also made it apparently clear that he wants Demarcus Cousins on the team, saying in an interview, “Oh man, you know I’m trying to push for that. I’ve been on that for like five years. I want to sign him right now.” The Wizards have what Demarcus wants, and Demarcus is what the Wizards desperately need. And that’s not the only reason to sign him.
Demarcus Cousins is a free agent! He hasn’t yet committed to the Lakers, and only made $3.5 million this season. The Wizards don’t have too much cap space, but they still might be able to sign him. And come on, why are we paying Ian Mahinmi $15 million during this season to come off the bench and only play when other centers are injured? He barely plays during the season and is the third highest paid player on the team! Luckily, the Wizards haven’t committed to him yet, but they could use the coming cap space to get rid of 33 year old Ian Mahinmi, and get 29 year old (once an All-Star) Demarcus Cousins. Get Demarcus, and have John Wall back at 110% (as he claims he is), and all of a sudden, you’ve got a championship contending team. There’s only one other missing piece the Wizards would need.
If the Wizards truly want to contend in 2021, then they desperately need Obi Toppin. He’s a polished SF who can do it all, and may be a future All-Star. For more info on why the Wizards should draft him in 2020, look at this blog post: https://nbainfo.data.blog/2020/06/24/why-obi-toppin-is-the-perfect-draft-pick-for-the-wizards/. But basically to sum it up, he would be a deadly SF and could give the Wizards a potential starting five of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Obi Toppin, Rui Hachimura, and Demarcus Cousins. Not too many teams could contend with that, I’ll tell you.
But what do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, get this blog post on the screen of Tommy Sheppard’s computer, and as always, have an awesome day!