Reactions to the Milwaukee Bucks surprisingly waiving DeMarcus Cousins

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 22: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 22: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

They say you should expect the unexpected, but no one could have predicted exactly what the Milwaukee Bucks did Wednesday night. Mere seconds after their abysmal home loss against the Toronto Raptors, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the team would be waiving center DeMarcus Cousins.

Given that he was playing on a non-guaranteed deal, the Bucks had a decision to make on if they would guarantee his deal for the remainder of the season by this Friday. It seemed like an easy call that they would, given how well that he played since joining the team in November, but this news cements that Cousins’ short time in Milwaukee will indeed be coming to an end.

The Milwaukee Bucks waiving DeMarcus Cousins is certainly a puzzling move on all fronts

The sole reason why the Bucks signed Cousins was due to the early-season back issues of center Brook Lopez. Milwaukee’s starting big man has missed the entire season aside from an opening night matchup with the Brooklyn Nets due to back issues. Lopez underwent surgery to try and alleviate the issue after therapy and rest did not help, so the team made the smart decision to bring in a savvy veteran like Cousins to bolster their size in the meantime.

What makes this even more head-scratching is just how well Cousins had been playing with the Bucks. Throughout his first 16 games before Wednesday, he averaged 8.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per game. In Milwaukee’s loss to Toronto, which will unfortunately be remembered as his last game with the franchise, he provided a massive spark off the bench by contributing 15 points and 10 rebounds. Cousins was always productive in his minutes, as he had been playing solid basketball after struggling to carve out a role with previous teams over the past few seasons.

With Cousins gone, the Bucks have some questions to answer. Do they have a replacement target in mind? Has general manager Jon Horst scoured the market for a trade? Did ownership not want to pay Cousins and keep a roster spot vacant instead? Is Lopez progressing so well in his recovery that the team did not feel like they needed Cousins? There are just so many question marks with this move. It makes no sense for the team to cut ties with a player that was playing at such a high level on a non-guaranteed deal, especially at a position where they are thinned out.

For now, the only thing fans can do is wait. There is bound to be some plan that arises out of this situation within the next few days. Whether that be a trade, a free agent signing, or some kind of positive update regarding Lopez’s recovery, there has to be something behind the scenes that caused this move to be made. Right now, it is not a good look, especially if it was for financial purposes like Milwaukee’s highly-controversial decision to let P.J. Tucker leave in free agency right after helping the franchise win a championship.

Next. Assessing the Milwaukee Bucks’ biggest needs before 2022 trade deadline. dark

Stay tuned for any future updates and moves.