Unlikely as it may seem, DeMarcus Cousins envisions himself suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers come playoff time.
Cousins, who tore his left ACL during a pickup game last summer, says he is “pretty confident” he can play a meaningful role.
Teammate LeBron James and the rest of the organizational braintrust, however, insist they’re focused on Boogie getting healthy first and foremost.
Appearing as a guest on Showtime’s “All the Smoke” podcast with hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Cousins explained what his role could look like in the postseason.
“We got a big team. It’s going to be some bump, for sure,” Cousins said. “We got so many guys with different abilities. I mean, I can spot up. Bron [LeBron James] is going to draw everybody whenever he decides to move. I’m pretty confident I can knock down the shot. We got shooters all over the floor. I mean, I can playmake. Like, it’s pick your poison.”
James was asked if the team is thinking about Cousins’ eventual return.
“Listen, first, his health is the thing we’re mostly engaging in and watching him. And he’s progressed every single day, every single month,” James said after practice Thursday, the Lakers’ first group session following the All-Star break. “To the point where he was limping and now he’s actually shooting and actually jumping on the jump shots, and progressing every single day, every single week. He’s out there right now, getting his work done.
“We want to continue to stay optimistic about his health. We don’t want no setbacks, as he’s had before in the last couple years. But his health is most important, and if we can get Cuz anywhere back to what he was capable of doing a couple years ago, it’s a plus for us. But there’s no pressure on him. There’s no pressure on our ballclub to have him out there right away, or whenever that case may be. We want him to be healthy and have a great, clear mind and a great attitude, which he’s done since he’s gotten here.”