• DeMarcus Cousins is still in recovery mode for his ACL injury
  • Cousins' return remains unknown
  • The Lakers may opt for another big man if Cousins is out for a longer period of time

DeMarcus Cousins may not be ready to play when the 2020-21 NBA season kicks off. The 30-year-old is still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered while playing in a pick-up game in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Lakers were forced to waive Cousins in February, aware that they needed a healthy body in tow for the 2019-20 NBA title quest. Dwight Howard took his place, and most know how the move panned out.

Despite that development, critics believed that the Lakers will give the four-time NBA All-Star another chance for the coming NBA season. However, this was with the assumption that “Boogie” would be ready to play.

Cousins continues to recover from his last injury and may not be ready for action on opening day, Austin Kent of Slam Magazine reported. No specific timeframe has been given on when the 6-foot-10 center can return. However, Cousins has not suffered any setbacks in his road to recovery, his agent Jeff Schartz told Slam.

Considering Cousins has been through a series of unfortunate injuries, it would be in his best interests not to rush a return to NBA action. He suffered a torn left Achilles before the 2018-19 season and then suffered a torn left quadriceps during the Warriors' Game 2 match against the Clippers last year.

Though Cousins will not be ready by the start of the season, the attention shifts to the Los Angeles Lakers. Will they still take a chance on the big man and wait for him to be ready for their back-to-back NBA title drive?

Cousins never really officially left Los Angeles even if he was waived. He was still working himself at Lakers’ facilities and such hinted that he is more than likely to be re-signed.

With Howard headed to free agency and the future of JaVale McGee up in the air, the Lakers are left to decide on which big man to pick in free agency. Anthony Davis is expected to re-sign, but Frank Vogel needs more help up front.

Tristan Thompson has been mentioned as a potential target, someone close to LeBron James. However, Los Angeles is struggling with its salary budget, most of which is invested in James and Davis.

Cousins could be signed, but the numbers in the contract are unlikely to be high. Seeing as how he needs to prove himself once more, “Boogie” is unlikely to get any high offers in the NBA market this offseason.

 LeBron James #23 and Anthony Davis #3 talk with DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #23 and Anthony Davis #3 talk with DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Jayne Kamin-Oncea