As Singer explains, with the trade deadline just three days away, Denver is still assessing its options and determining whether to keep its 15th roster spot open to accommodate a potential deal. The Nuggets aren’t eligible for a hardship exception, so they’d have to use that lone roster opening to re-sign Cousins.
If they don’t bring back Cousins prior to Thursday’s deadline, the Nuggets will likely do so afterward. As Singer notes, the veteran big man earned praise from head coach Michael Malone and star center Nikola Jokic on Sunday after he grabbed nine rebounds in 16 minutes in a win over Brooklyn. His 10-day contract expired after that game.
In total, Cousins has appeared in five games with Denver, averaging 6.0 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 13.3 MPG while struggling with his shot (.257 FG%). He initially signed a 10-day hardship deal, which the team terminated early in order to give Cousins a standard 10-day contract after multiple players exited the COVID-19 protocols.
If Cousins signs another standard 10-day deal with the Nuggets, the team would have to either let him walk or sign him for the rest of the season once it expires. A player can’t sign more than two standard 10-day contracts with the same team in a season.