DeMarcus Cousins
AP Photo

The New York Knicks have huge plans for free agency this summer, but if all else fails, DeMarcus Cousins could be a consolation prize.

It’s no secret in Madison Square Garden—the New York Knicks are swinging for the fences this summer. With the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Kemba Walker on the market, the Knicks are sure to be active in free agency.

Of course, should the Knicks whiff on any of the top free agents this summer, DeMarcus Cousins remains an intriguing option.

“He’ll be the Lakers’ or the Knicks’ consolation prize,” one Western Conference executive said to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report.

Playing just 31 full games this season due to an Achilles tear, Cousins generally played well in his limited time with the Warriors. He posted averages of 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds on 48% shooting from the field.

Cousins wasn’t his old dominant self and definitely wasn’t the best fit for the Warriors, but it seemed with an offseason of full pace workouts, he could once again become an All-Star.

However, following a torn right quad, Cousins’ 2019 playoff campaign is over. And as Berger outlines, it may have also cost him a $150 million dollar payout.

Before the injury, the market wasn’t all that cold for Cousins. The general agreement was that whoever struck out on their top players (potentially Lakers or Knicks) would throw the max at Cousins for two or three years and see what he could do. He was the bailout. Not the first choice, but a way for general managers to escape free agency without being fired.

Now, with this injury, if any team spends upwards of $15 million per year on Cousins, they will be seen as the big losers of the summer. Moreover, the feeling around the league is that the Lakers or the Knicks could be suitors for the oft-injured Cousins.