As the list of buyout market options continues to get shorter, the name DeMarcus Cousins continues to climb up that list. Now, of course we are currently discussing a guy that is past his prime, but that is basically the definition of the buyout market.
Every player that has fallen into that category ended up there for a reason, so singling out Cousins doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Anyway, when evaluating the Cousins option for this team, a certain Pat Riley quote from his recent presser continues to pop out. He mentioned a big reason that adding Victor Oladipo was so important was due to it giving Miami a “different dimension.” And well, Cousins has a chance at giving that to Miami when placed into the correct role.
As I take a dive into the elements he can bring to this Heat team, there aren’t many diversified points like past articles have included. By that, I mean that his offensive abilities are pretty simple when discussing him as a fit, which I will address here…
– The primary “different dimension”
First and foremost, the role that he will be given on this current roster must be noted, which would most likely be the back-up big spot that Precious Achiuwa currently holds. And at this stage of Achiuwa’s young career, his offensive game is extremely limited.
Besides that, he is a bit undersized at times against opposing 5’s, which is something Cousins would not have an issue with. That “different dimension” that I keep harping on is the inside game. It may not be what it once was for him, but his wide frame allows him to get to it at a consistent rate, at least when he actually wants to.
Other than Achiuwa’s inexperience and lowered trust levels when entering a playoff series, his offensive game only being generated above the rim will become even more problematic than it is right now. And if there’s any team that can insert a veteran into a certain role, while making sure he brings them that needed presence down low, it would have to be the Miami Heat.
There have been moments this season, like the video clip above, where Cousins has shown those interior flashes that I just discussed. Another thing to note here though is that he can grab a few more rebounds for the second unit when Bam Adebayo is off the floor.
A major part about Miami considering Cousins as an option would be the mental side of things. Is he willing to alter some things in his game and accept this certain role to help this team win? It’s a question that I’m unable to answer, but I can say that when it’s Pat Riley, or even Jimmy Butler, asking him that question, there’s a much better chance of that being a yes.
Let’s take a look at one more interior possession from this game against the Dallas Mavericks. The reason that I’m utilizing this game to dive into his interior play has a lot to do with him dropping 28 points and 17 rebounds in this game at the end of January.
While many are probably wondering about the fit next to Adebayo, I think the balance between these two guys interchanging is more intriguing. It’s pretty obvious that Adebayo is a player that loves to face the basket, due to his incredible intangibles to make plays as if he was a point guard.
With that being said, he has not been the biggest fan of backing guys down and creating from the post, which is another example of Cousins bringing another dimension. He isn’t afraid to use his size on the block, as seen here, which may benefit Adebayo as well to diversify their bigs, especially since Nemanja Bjelica brings something that neither of them do.
– The shooting aspect
The Kelly Olynyk roller coaster, when referring to the ups and downs of his shooting, could be reiterated by Cousins, which is not the worst thing for a back-up big. When I say this, I mean that he is capable of becoming an outside threat as he was early in this game against the Miami Heat, but there will also be a few down games sprinkled in.
But getting away from consistency and numbers, adding some type of floor spacer at the 5 is pretty important at this moment as well. Andre Iguodala will continue to get big time minutes off the bench, but while shooting isn’t his best attribute, the fit next to Achiuwa in that bench unit hasn’t been very effective.
Another primary part about Cousins, when comparing him to other buyout options, is that his peak is much higher than anybody else on that list. Although Miami may not want to take a chance at uncertainty at this time, he could be an outstanding spark at his best.
– Parked on the bottom block is beneficial for Miami’s offense
Although Cousins likes to space himself beyond the arc most of the time, as discussed previously, his spot on the bottom block could majorly impact Miami’s offense.
One reason for that is shown in this clip above, since Miami is one of the better cutting teams in the NBA, which leads to easy dump-off passes for easy opportunities.
After seeing that, can you hear Pat Riley saying the words “different dimension” as well? Because I can.
The overall consensus is that Miami just majorly needs some type of back-up big if they want to compete in the East, and beginning to win some games with their new pieces can impact who they get from that list. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but the more days that go by, the higher Cousins’ name gets on that list.