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Houston Rockets to waive DeMarcus Cousins; Kristaps Porzingis staying with Dallas Mavericks

DeMarcus Cousins will become a free agent as the Houston Rockets look set to waive the center, while Kristaps Porzingis will remain at the Dallas Mavericks after owner Mark Cuban shot down reports of his potential departure.

DeMarcus Cousins, Houston Rockets (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Image: DeMarcus Cousins could be on the move

DeMarcus Cousins is soon to be a free agent as the Houston Rockets prepare to waive the center as early as Tuesday.

Cousins is Houston's leading rebounder (7.6 per game) and is averaging a career-low 9.6 points.

The Rockets intend to return to a 'small ball' line-up with Christian Wood coming back from an ankle injury. Houston would be responsible for only $1.66m of Cousins' salary.

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It is believed the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in a reunion with Cousins after placing Quinn Cook on waivers.

Cousins, 30, once was an elite big man and averaged more than 20 points per game in five straight seasons while playing for the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. He was an All-Star in four of those campaigns.

But he suffered a torn Achilles in January of 2018 during his one full season with the Pelicans and has never regained his form. He also sustained a torn quadriceps during the 2019 playoffs while toiling for the Golden State Warriors.

After signing with the Lakers in July 2019, Cousins tore the ACL in his left knee and missed the entire 2019-20 season. Cousins has career averages of 20.8 points and 10.7 rebounds since being Sacramento's first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2010 NBA Draft.

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Wood has missed the last eight games and the Rockets have lost each one.

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Cuban dampens Porzingis trade talk

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shot down rumours that big man Kristaps Porzingis is on the trade block.

Responding to multiple reports that Dallas was feeling out possible trade partners, Cuban issued a flat denial to the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday.

"It's not accurate," he said. "We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened."

Dallas Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Image: Kristaps Porzingis looks likely to be staying put

Porzingis, 25, is averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in 17 games this season. He was inactive for Monday night's 102-92 win against the Memphis Grizzlies due to back stiffness.

The Mavericks are 8-9 with Porzingis in the starting line-up and 6-6 without him.

Porzingis missed training camp following meniscus surgery in his right knee in October and has had to play his way into shape this season.

He made the All-Star team with the Knicks in 2017-18 and has career averages of 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds in 260 games (259 starts) with New York (2015-18) and Dallas.

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