The Denver Nuggets are likely to re-sign DeMarcus Cousins to another 10-day contract, his second. With an open roster spot, the Nuggets could retain Boogie for the rest of the season, but with days before the trade deadline, it looks like Denver are keeping their options open.
The news comes from Mike Singer, The Denver Post, as Cousins’ first 10-day expired after the team’s win over the Brooklyn Nets.
"“The Nuggets have an open roster spot, but are trying to determine the best path in regards to Cousins and potentially adding a player via trade, the source said.”"
Since joining the Denver Nuggets, DeMarcus has struggled to shoot the ball but has added consistency to the second unit, pushing Zeke Nnaji into his natural position as a power forward and gives the team size when Nikola Jokic sits.
As Cousins told Singer himself:
"“I think I’m a good veteran presence, I think the guys in the locker room respected my voice, I think I bring a certain type of leadership to this group… Of course I’m biased as to what I feel I can bring to a team. Ultimately the decision goes to the front office.”"
The decision to retain Cousins for the rest of the season doesn’t just go to the front office, it also rests on the upcoming trade market. Denver might have made their only move of the season after trading for Bryn Forbes, but if an opportunity arises where the Nuggets can significantly upgrade their backup center spot at the deadline, they might do so, rendering Cousins useless.
One player that the Nuggets have expressed interest in is Phoenix Suns young big, Jalen Smith. A potential deal would be a buy-low on a 21-year-old that hasn’t panned out in the NBA.
While trading for a player on their rookie deal would usually be ideal, the Suns declined Smith’s third-year option before the season started, making Jalen an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
As previously reported, the Nuggets are happy to move on from JaMychal Green’s salary at the deadline if it upgrades the roster. With Boogie as the backup center, Zeke Nnaji as the backup four, and Jeff Green/Aaron Gordon both better off as forwards inside, JaMychal is looking redundant.
JaMychal Green didn’t play in Denver’s win against the Brooklyn Nets while Boogie logged 16 minutes.
The good news for DeMarcus is that if Tim Connelly and the Nuggets front office can’t find a deal at the deadline, both he and Michael Malone said they love the group that they’ve got.
Trading for a backup center isn’t going to steal the headlines away from some of the big names out there like Ben Simmons and James Harden, but a solid contributor behind Jokic will go a long way in bringing respectability to a team hoping to dodge the play-in tournament.
DeMarcus has done such a great job at playing the backup center role. Let’s wait and see if he’ll get the opportunity for the rest of the season.