Why Aren’t John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins Making Their Houston Rockets Debuts Tonight?

Houston Rockets stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both missed the entire 2019-20 season recovering from injuries. Wall was rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon with the Washington Wizards, while Cousins worked on his left ACL after tearing it during a pick-up game during the summer of 2019 shortly after signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wall, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 draft, was acquired by the Rockets this past offseason in the blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade. Meanwhile, Cousins signed with Houston as an unrestricted free agent. Wall and Cousins are reuniting on the Rockets. The two All-Stars were teammates back in college at Kentucky and are very close friends.

John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins worked hard to get back on the court and looked good in the Rockets’ preseason. However, both guys will have to wait to make their regular-season debuts with Houston.

John Wall is still really fast despite tearing his Achilles

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During the 2018-19 season with the Wizards, John Wall appeared in 32 games before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel. The five-time All-Star then fell at his house and tore his Achilles tendon, which is why he missed the entire 2019-20 season.

Due to the emergence of Bradley Beal, the Wizards were looking to trade Wall this past offseason. Washington was able to move the 30-year-old to the Rockets for former MVP Russell Westbrook, who requested a trade out of Houston. Wall finished his Wizards career with averages of 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists.

Rockets fans were curious to see what Wall looked like in the preseason since the explosive guard hadn’t played since December 26, 2018. The point guard, one of the hardest workers you’ll find, showed the NBA world that he’s still one of the fastest players in the league despite his Achilles tear.

John Wall may not be a good outside shooter, but he can get to the rim at will, finish in heavy traffic and pass the ball with the best of them. As long as he stays healthy, Wall should have success with the Rockets.

DeMarcus Cousins has had a lot of bad luck over the past few years

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DeMarcus Cousins used to be the best big man in the league when he was on the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. However, that all changed during the 2017-18 season when Boogie tore his Achilles tendon with the Pelicans.

In the summer of 2018, Cousins was forced to sign a cheap contract with the Golden State Warriors since teams were scared to offer him big money due to his Achilles tear. The four-time All-Star played in 30 games with the Warriors and averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in the regular season.

Cousins was excited to play in the postseason for the first time in his NBA career. Unfortunately, the injury bug wouldn’t leave the talented center alone. Cousins suffered a torn quad in the Warriors’ first-round matchup against the LA Clippers in the 2019 playoffs. Although he returned for the 2019 Finals versus the Toronto Raptors, the Alabama native wasn’t even close to 100%.

The Lakers signed Cousins in the offseason of 2019. Boogie was looking forward to playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but he never suited up for the Purple and Gold. Cousins tore his ACL in Las Vegas before the 2019-20 season started.

The Rockets are hopeful that Cousins can stay healthy and help the franchise make a deep postseason run with Wall as his point guard. James Harden still wants to be traded by the Rockets, so it’s unknown how good Houston will be this season.

What we do know, though, is that the Rockets won’t have John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup on opening night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets are going to be shorthanded against the Thunder

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins won’t play against the Thunder on Wednesday due to COVID-19 contact tracing. A player on the Rockets recently tested positive for COVID-19 and initiated contact tracing on the team.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that Wall and Cousins have tested negative for COVID-19. The Rockets’ contact tracing is connected to testing on rookie K.J. Martin.

Houston takes on the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 26. We’ll see if John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins can make their Rockets debuts that evening.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.