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Rockets Championship Odds +3000 After Signing DeMarcus Cousins – Does He Make Them a Better Bet?

Houston Rockets
DeMarcus Cousins is one of just seven players in NBA history to average 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists per game in a single season. Photo by @NBAonTNT (Twitter).
  • DeMarcus Cousins is joining the Houston Rockets on a one-year deal
  • Cousins, one of the league’s premier scorers in his prime, has been hit hard by injuries over the last three years
  • Does his addition make Houston a more viable championship contender?

It wasn’t too long ago that DeMarcus Cousins was one of the NBA’s premier scorers. The 6-foot-10, 270 pound big man is just four years removed a 25/12/5 campaign, but a rash of injuries over the last few seasons have derailed his career.

Now at age 30, the four-time all-star is joining Houston on a one-year deal, but his arrival isn’t making oddsmakers any more bullish on the Rockets’ title prospects.

2021 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds to Win
Los Angeles Lakers +300
Los Angeles Clippers +550
Milwaukee Bucks +550
Boston Celtics +1300
Miami Heat +1500
Houston Rockets +3000

Odds taken Nov. 23rd at DraftKings.

Houston remains a longshot in the 2021 NBA Championship odds, with a price tag of anywhere between +3000 to +3200 depending on which online sportsbook you visit. Those odds are right in line with where they’ve been all week, and longer than they were a week ago.

Don’t Call It a Comeback

Cousins’ one-year deal is for the veteran’s minimum, the most the Rockets could afford to offer. He missed all of last season with a torn ACL, an injury he suffered after signing with the eventual champion LA Lakers.

His injury troubles started back in 2018 in New Orleans, when he ruptured his Achilles tendon, which cost him the second half of that season as well as most of 2019. When he did return in 2019, this time with Golden State, he fell victim to a torn quad, which kept him out of most of the Warriors’ playoff run.

He’s reportedly back to full health, and impressed Houston enough during a recent workout to warrant a contract offer.

It remains to be seen if he’ll ever recapture his pre-2018 form, but at the very least he should help the Rockets address a glaring need.

Houston Desperate For Help Down Low

Houston’s rebounding numbers in the second half of last season were downright embarassing. They had a rebounding percentage of 44.6, which extrapolated over a full season, would be the worst mark in over two decades.

The Rockets spent the majority of the second half of the season and playoffs with 6-foot-5 P.J. Tucker at center, and Cousins will be an instant upgrade over him. Boogie has averaged 10.9 rebounds a game over his career, and has multiple seasons with over 12 boards per contest on his resume.

His presence on the court could help alleviate some of the offensive workload from James Harden and Russell Westbrook, that is of course if they’re still on the team.

Fade the Rockets

If oddsmakers aren’t all of a sudden bullish on Houston, you probably should’t be either. Neither Harden or Westbrook want to be there, and it’s doubtful the addition of Cousins changes that.

The Harden to Brooklyn saga is reportedly cooling for now, but if you thought a happy James Harden was miserable to play with, imagine what a disgruntled one will be like.

The Cousins signing improves the Rockets in the short term, but it pails in comparison to what the reigning champs have done. The LA Lakers have made significant moves in free agency to bolster an already strong roster. With a retooled Lakers team, plus a Clippers squad that features Kawhi and Paul George in the way, Houston will remain more of a pretender than a contender.

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