The Golden State Warriors have succeeded to address their weakness at the center position with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency. Though Cousins is set to miss the most of the regular season, he is expected to be 100 percent healthy in the postseason where the Warriors could feature a starting lineup of five NBA All-Stars.
With the presence of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, DeMarcus Cousins is definitely aware that he will not be a go-to guy in Golden State. However, his role with the reigning NBA champions might be smaller than what most people anticipated. According to Jake Montero of KNBR, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr revealed that they are planning to use Cousins in a “Davis West role” and anchor their second unit.
“I think you’ll see us use him in that David West role from the last couple years, when David anchored the second unit,” Kerr said. “I think you’ll see us play through DeMarcus once he’s back, and we’ll put him on the low block and have guys cutting around him.”
Like David West, DeMarcus Cousins is one of the few big men in the league who has an incredible passing ability. However, Cousins might be too good of a player to be compared to West. Before he suffered an injury last season, Cousins posted monster statistics, averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 assists, and 1.6 blocks on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. After spending most of his NBA career as a starter, it also remains questionable if Cousins will willingly accept a bench role.
However, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr explained that giving DeMarcus Cousins a “David West role” is only one of the experiments they plan to do with the All-Star center when he returns on the court. With his ability to efficiently shoot the ball from beyond the arc, Kerr also plans to put Cousins on some high screens and become one of their options on the three-point range.
“The other thing that we can do that we haven’t really had a big capable of doing since I’ve been here, is putting him in some high screens and popping him out to the 3-point line. He’s a really good 3-point shooter, he’s got amazing soft hands, soft touch, and then he can pass from out there too.”
If DeMarcus Cousins succeeds to make himself fit in the Warriors’ system, he will undeniably play a significant role in helping Golden State win their third consecutive NBA championship title. His performance in the 2018-19 NBA season will be vital as it will determine his value in the 2019 NBA free agency.