Denver Nuggets: DeMarcus Cousins and Michael Malone reunited

The Denver Nuggets are signing big man DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract, landing the backup center the Mile High City has craved so badly since the departure of JaVale McGee to the Phoenix Suns in the offseason.

Nikola Jokic continues to set the pace and accomplish the unimaginable at the starting center position for Denver, only building on the beefy resume he has compiled in this 2021-22 season on his way to another surefire All-Star appearance and possible run at the title of back-to-back Most Valuable Player.

Now the Nuggets get to add some depth behind Jokic with Cousins, a player Nuggets head coach Michael Malone is very familiar with dating back to their days in Sacramento, where Cousins enjoyed a career-high .496 percent average from the floor (minimum 40 games) in 2013-14.

Standing in the way of Denver’s run at a championship are COVID-19 complications and depth chart headaches as the Nuggets deal with a rash of injuries compounding Malone’s problems as he hands out minutes to the bench unit. Cousins brings tenacity on the boards along with savvy veteran play on both ends of the court. Cousins has an attitude about him that could be a sight for sore eyes missing the days of Kenyon Martin and Denver’s “tougher” frame of mind.

Malone has coveted Cousins for years and it’s a shame his visions of sugar plums did not come to fruition sooner in Denver, as Malone juggled lineups that included Isaiah Hartenstein and Mason Plumlee to name a few, while Cousins bounced around from New Orleans to Golden State, to Houston, to Los Angeles, and then to Milwaukee.

At 31-years-old, the former fifth overall pick out of Kentucky in 2010 has a chance to do in 2022 what Malone always hoped he could in 2014. Cousins is multi-dimensional and emulates Jokic with his game. Blocks, rebounding, scoring, and assist assistance are all in play with the addition of Cousins, along with an added wildcard effect that could result in a technical foul or two.

Cousins has cooled his jets in his older age, after building quite the reputation in the 2013-14 season as a hot-head. Malone and the Nuggets will be hoping to get a little bit of everything out of Cousins as he staves off retirement and attempts to inject life into a Nuggets bench unit that has been floundering in 2021-22.

Malone knows how to use Cousins and will put him in the best position to be successful that he can. Cousins had a double-double the night the Milwaukee Bucks let him go and clearly has something left in the tank as Denver appears desperate for something, anything to spark their reserves while Jokic rests.

Cousins holds career averages of 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and the Nuggets will be smitten if they get anything near that. With Bol Bol being traded to the Detroit Pistons, there are minutes to be earned behind Jokic and an open roster spot to fill.