After winning back-to-back NBA championship titles, the Golden State Warriors still managed to make a huge upgrade on their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins over the summer. Though “Boogie” is set to spend the most of the regular season recovering from an injury, he is expected to join the Warriors when the real battle begins in the Western Conference Playoffs.
Signing with the Warriors is like hitting two birds with one stone for DeMarcus Cousins. Playing in Golden State will give him a strong chance of winning his first NBA championship title and the opportunity to prove that he’s still one of the most dominant big men in the league. If he succeeds to return to his All-Star form, Cousins will be in a good position to demand a huge contract in the 2019 NBA free agency.
With the Warriors currently buried deep in the luxury tax hell, they must be aware that DeMarcus Cousins is only a one-year rental. Instead of re-signing Cousins, the Warriors are expected to prioritize bringing Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson back. Both superstars are also set to become unrestricted free agents next summer.
However, according to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports, there is a “remote possibility” that DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors may consider extending their partnership. Feldman said that the Warriors could give Cousins a decent offer if Kevin Durant leaves in the 2019 NBA free agency and Klay Thompson takes a massive discount on his next contract.
“Maybe he signs a one-year contract to establish Early Bird Rights, which would allow the Warriors to pay him up to $11,207,700 in 2020, though he could get that much only by signing for at least two years at that point. He could even work toward spending three years with Golden State, which would give him Full Bird Rights and the ability to re-sign for up to the max. Or maybe Durant leaves in free agency next summer, and Thompson is willing to take a massive discount. Then maybe the Warriors could carve out enough cap space to re-sign Cousins to a larger contract.”
Photo: DeMarcus Cousins works out before Warriors preseason game in Seattle https://t.co/M6qeRzbj9w
— Warriors Wire (@TheWarriorsWire) October 6, 2018
The potential departure of Kevin Durant from Golden State will dramatically change the NBA landscape and make the Warriors vulnerable. To continue dominating the league in the next couple of years, the Warriors will need a player who can fill the hole Durant will leave. When healthy, Cousins can replicate Durant’s production on both ends of the floor. In 48 games he played with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, the 28-year-old center averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.6 steals on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
As of now, it’s too early to talk about DeMarcus Cousins and his impending free agency. However, most NBA fans are surely intrigued to know what the future holds for Cousins and the Warriors.