The Houston Rockets will release center DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday after a mutual decision was made between the team and the big man to separate, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Cousins, whose veteran minimum wage of $ 2.3 million was guaranteed by the Rockets last week as a show of gratitude, will explore the interest of other teams.
Cousins, 30, a four-time All-Star trying to resurrect his career after a series of serious injuries, averaged 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting just 37.6% from the floor in 25 games with the Rockets.
Sources said Cousins was unhappy with his role as a backup center behind Christian Wood because he wanted more playing time. Rockets coach Stephen Silas didn’t consider playing Wood and Cousins together, as he wants to use Wood solely as a center.
The Rockets have lost their last eight games after Wood, Houston’s leading scorer and rebounder, sprained his right ankle. Cousins, whose defensive limitations were a problem, averaged 12.1 points and 9.0 rebounds during the stretch before falling out of Monday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls due to a heel injury.
Cousins has rebounded in the league in recent seasons after tearing his Achilles tendon during the 2017-18 season while with the New Orleans Pelicans. He then signed with the Golden State Warriors, but tore his quadriceps in the 2018-19 season. Cousins joined the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2019-20 season, but tore his ACL before catching up with the team.
He has averaged 20.8 points and 10.7 rebounds in his career since being selected by the Sacramento Kings with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Athletic reported for the first time on the imminent release of Cousins.