3 burning questions after the Milwaukee Bucks waived DeMarcus Cousins

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Sandro Mamukelashvili
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08 (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

More often than not, the Milwaukee Bucks tend to make the right decisions. Although there are a few rare exceptions, such as letting P.J. Tucker walk in free agency for financial reasons, the people pulling the strings upstairs have done a great job constructing this roster. Well, Wednesday night’s move falls into that same category with Tucker in head-scratching moves made by the Bucks.

As first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania mere seconds after Wednesday’s tough loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Bucks have waived DeMarcus Cousins. Justifiably, the move has caused mass confusion among the fanbase. Not only was Cousins very productive for the Bucks during his 17 games with the franchise, but he provided a viable option at the center position, where they are severely shorthanded right now. Cousins had a guarantee date coming up on Friday regarding his contract, and while it seemed inevitable that the team would keep him around, they have opted to go in another direction. Aside from financial reasons, everyone is still looking for answers for why the Bucks did this. Amidst the search for the truth, here are three questions following the move.

Do the Milwaukee Bucks believe they have something in Sandro Mamukelashvili?

With Cousins gone, rookie Sandro Mamukelashvili assumes the responsibility of being the backup big man behind Bobby Portis. The Bucks selected Mamukelashvili with the 54th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and as expected, he has not seen much time this season aside when the team is playing massively shorthanded. Well, his importance just increased mightily following the news of Cousins’ release.

Throughout his 223 minutes played this season, the rookie has not put up the gaudiest numbers, averaging 3.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game. Still, there have been brief glimpses of potential sprinkled throughout his performances, whether the big man is throwing a fancy pass or knocking down some tough shots. He has quickly proven to be a reliable outside shooter as he is currently hitting 13-of-32 (40.6 percent) of his 3-point shots this season. The second round pick still has much room to grow, but the potential is there for him to become an interesting player.

Mamukelashvili’s playing time is bound to increase now that Cousins is not around. Time will tell how that pans out, but it seems like the Bucks have some level of faith in him. Enough to release Cousins at least, who was playing solid basketball before his release and tallied a double-double during his last game with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Perhaps Mamukelashvili could produce at a high level for the Bucks with an extended role, which is something that might have factored into the decision to let Cousins go.