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Nuggets sign veteran C DeMarcus Cousins to 10-day contract

January 22, 2022 GMT
Milwaukee Bucks' DeMarcus Cousins (15) shoots between Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam (43) and Khem Birch (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
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Milwaukee Bucks' DeMarcus Cousins (15) shoots between Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam (43) and Khem Birch (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
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Milwaukee Bucks' DeMarcus Cousins (15) shoots between Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam (43) and Khem Birch (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets signed four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract on Friday to back up Nikola Jokic.

The 6-foot-10 Cousins will be eligible to play in six games for the Nuggets, starting Friday night against Memphis.

He’s reuniting with Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who coached Cousins in Sacramento for a season-plus until Malone was dismissed in Dec. 2014.

“We have stayed in touch over the many years after my firing. I think DeMarcus is a hell of a player and a much better person than advertised,” Malone said. “I think in this 10-day contract, we’ll see what happens, but I anticipate it going well. I’m just thankful that he’s here. DeMarcus is someone that I care about and I think he’s deserving of this chance.”

Cousins averaged 9.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 17 games for Milwaukee, but was released this month as the Bucks wanted to open a roster spot.

The Nuggets have limited big-man depth behind the reigning MVP Jokic. Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery) is out and JaMychal Green is in COVID-19 protocols.

The Nuggets are the seventh team for the 31-year-old Cousins, who has been slowed in recent years by a torn Achilles’ tendon and torn ACL. He holds career averages of 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds.

“I think he can just give us another weapon out there and make us a little harder to defend on nights where teams are going small and switching everything,” Malone said. “I think this will be a great spot for DeMarcus.”

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