The DeMarcus Cousins era in Houston is apparently coming to an end before one full season together.
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Rockets are releasing Cousins after 25 games with the team. The former four-time All-Star center averaged 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and shot 37.6% overall with Houston, which signed him as a free agent in late November.
Rockets guaranteed Cousins’ $2.3M salary for the season last week, and had positive feedback about his professional approach in 25 games for the team. https://t.co/GjzeSB3bM5
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021
The decision to move on from Cousins was not a shocking one for Houston, as reports of he and the team planning to part ways surfaced over the weekend. The Rockets have struggled this season, starting off 3-6 as talk of trading former Kia MVP and Houston star James Harden hovered over the team.
Since Harden was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 13, the Rockets have gone 8-12 and are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak. Cousins had a smattering of good games with Houston this season, including a 28-point, 17-rebound, five-assist performance on Jan. 23 vs. Dallas. That game was a throwback to his heyday as an All-Star with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.
Per Charania, the Rockets are making the move to release Cousins so he can have time to find a team on the open market. Houston guaranteed Cousins’ $2.3 million salary last week and has nothing but positives to say about his approach to the season, Charania reports.
Houston has several youngsters in the frontcourt — including Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, Danuel House — it is looking to give more of an opportunity to and moving on from Cousins helps facilitate that notion.